By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Major changes are happening to the Nashville Predators, both in terms of management and also in relation to the player roster. Over the past few days, major announcements have been made that will reshape the franchise. The biggest was Monday’s announcement that David Poile, the only general manager in Predators history, will be retiring in July. He will be replaced by longtime former Predators head coach Barry Trotz, who is the third winningest coach in NHL history and a past Stanley Cup winner while coaching the Washington Capitals.
Trotz spent his first 15 seasons coaching the Predators. Until July 1 he will serve as an advisor to Poile. After that, while Poile will step down as general manager, he will remain active with the team in an advisory role to Trotz. Trotz has always viewed Nashville as home, and said he was thrilled to be returning in this new role. After leaving the Predators, besides the Capitals he had also coached the New York Islanders. David Poile spent his first 15 seasons as general manager of the Washington Capitals. He had indicted at the end of last season that he might be retiring soon. He’s had 26 years with the Predators and has helped make them a highly successful part of the Nashville sports scene. The current Predators president and CEO Sean Henry said that Poile’s decision to retire was totally and solely his own, and that he was leaving on his own terms
The Predators have also begun making moves to change the team’s direction on the ice. They’ve made a series of trades over the past few days to stockpile future draft choices. Trotz has said that he considers current head coach John Hynes a good one but was still going to wait until after a review of things to make any statements regarding his future,
David Poile’s record going into Sunday night’s game against Arizona (which Nashville won 6-2) was 1,519-1,162-92-176. He began with the Atlanta Flames as an administrative assitant in 1972. He spent five years with the Flames, then became the Capitals general manger. They made the playoffs 14 times in his 15 years with them. He joined Nashville as an expansion franchise in 1997 and has been with them ever since. He was GM of the Year in the NHL in 2017, the same year that the Predators made their lone Stanley Cup Final appearance.