Why David Poile was the first Predator to be Inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame?

Due to all of the achievements that have been earned so far, GM David Poile was inducted into the US hockey hall of fame on December 12th, 2018. Born in Toronto, Ontario during early 1950, David Poile is the son of former NHL player and coach Bud Poile.

Poile worked his way into becoming a GM for the Washington Capitals he enjoyed a hot start to his managerial career when Washington made the playoffs in 14 out of his 15 years there. But what looked like a good fit for a long time, changed when Nashville was granted an expansion franchise. With David Poile’s history of smart moves, and money management he was the perfect candidate to raise this new team to dominance. Nearly 30 years later, and that is exactly what he has done.

Me in 1998 reading that David Poile was the Predators’s new GM.

It is not like David Poile has not been faced with hardship, however. It took some time for the Preds to establish themselves as consistent playoff contenders. In the first 5 seasons, Nashville missed the playoffs before making the playoffs for the first time in the 2003-2004 season and then staying in the playoffs until the 2008-2009 season. *lockout canceling the 2004-2005 season*. Since that one season break in between playoff runs, the Poile run Preds have only missed the playoffs twice.

During those two seasons, the Preds were fresh off losing superstar free agent Ryan Suter and having the Philadelphia Flyers try to bully their way into Shea Weber causing the Preds to match Philadelphia’s mega contract offer sheet. The move to match Weber’s offer sheet sent the Nashville Predators into a different and exciting path. After that Poile made a string of trades that ultimately led to Nashville’s 2017 cup run.

First, David Poile shipped off disgruntled fan favorite Martin Erat, and Micheal Latta in exchange for prospect Filip Forsberg, who was labeled to have top 5 talent but fell to 11 before being picked by Poile’s former team, the Washington Capitals. Forsberg has since turned into the team’s best forward and a corner piece of the franchise.

When you trade Forsberg for Erat.

Secondly, he traded the original Predator, David Legwand, who is still the leader in franchise points amongst other categories too. In exchange for Legwand’s services, the Red Wings sent veteran Patrick Eaves, a prospect named Calle Járnkrok, and a 3rd round pick. Calle Járnkrok immediate chemistry with the Preds and his ability to play any forward position instantly made him a major role player for Nashville, and a player who will hopefully be rocking the gold on the ice for seeable future.

The last of the trades that led the Nashville Predators into the most recent playoff run, which spans the last 4 seasons, was the acquisition of James Neal for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. It hurt losing Hornqvist but gaining a former Maurice Rocket Richard trophy winner was huge for the franchise. Having a bona fide goal scorer allowed the Preds to start to solidify the change in identity that was moving to more of an offensive powerhouse.

Perseverance through seasons like these are part of the reason why David Poile has been inducted into the US hockey hall of fame, this along with his extensive resume (partly listed below) puts him on track to join the NHL hall of fame as well as remain a household name in Nashville long after he retires.

• Winningest GM of all time with 1,333 wins

• Longest Tenured GM in the NHL

• 4-time finalist for NHL GM of the year with one win in 2017

• Playoffs in 11 of the last

• Has made the playoffs 71% of the time (25/35)

• Only GM with 500 victories with two teams, Washington (594) and Nashville (739)

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