Every team has a window for when they are a championship contender and for the Nashville Predators their time as a contender has shut. Ever since they made their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016-2017 it has been a steady decline each season since. In 2018 they lost in round two, 2019 it was a quiet first round exit, and then last year it was meager showing against the Arizona Coyotes in the bubble. It is finally time for Nashville to begin striping this team down and starting to build up from scratch all over again and that’s not just on the ice but throughout the organization.
No matter who you are in sports there is always a shelf life. Whether you are a player, coach, or executive and the expiration date of David Poile as Predators GM is long past due. Poile has served as this clubs GM since their inception all the way back in 1997 which is one hell of a run for an executive especially when you consider that he has never won a Stanley Cup there. Don’t get me wrong he has been a great leader in Smashville but it’s time that this organization has a new voice.
No general manager is ever going to be perfect and Poile has definitely had more hits than misses recently in his time as GM but the problem is that a lot of his misses have been egregious. Further adding to the frustration has to be the terrific signings by Poille of Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis which are largely being wasted right now. which have been overshadowed by the culmination of bad moves.
The Biggest one that comes to mind is Seth Jones for Ryan Johansen. At the time the deal made sense for both sides when you consider that Nashville needed a number one center and the Jackets needed a stabilizing force on the back end. As of the writing of this Columbus is winning this deal by a landslide as Jones has realized his Norris Trophy potential and Ryan Johansen has 4 assists on the season to count for his only points of the year. Johansen has come to symbolize many of the issues in Nashville currently as well.
Do we even need to discuss the Matt Duchene signing? Do not get me wrong I used to be a huge fan of Duchene but after 82 games as a Predator, Duchene has only netted 16 goals total. Sorry, that is never going to get the job done especially when you’re a free agent on a big ticket contract. The Duchence signing has been a colossal failure for Poile thus far and there has been nothing to show that it’s going to get any better.
Needless to say one of the worst moves that Poile has made within the last five years is firing Peter Laviolett to bring in John Hynes. What has Hynes really shown you in this league that he was the right guy for the job? Hynes has one solid NHL season under his belt and it was where Taylor Hall went beastmode winning the Hart Trophy and carried a flawed Devils team to the postseason. I’m always okay with firing a coach when you’re willing to bring in someone as good or better but when you go from Barry Trotz to Peter Laviolette and then John Hynes that’s a clear downgrade.
The time has come for the Preds to not only rebuild their one ice product but their front office as well. David Poile has done a great job taking an expansion franchise and helping turn a non-traditional hockey market into a rabid hockey market but it’s painfully obvious he’s running out of runway. Predators fans owe it to their diehard fans to start turning over the franchise now and still get some salvaging of Josi and Ellis’ time left.