It only takes a couple of moves for a general manager like David Poile to gain or lose the trust of a fan base. The Nashville GM has done the former with a couple of well-timed trades to get the No. 1 center that it’s never had in Ryan Johansen, and he managed to shed one of the more burdensome contracts in the history of the league with trading Shea Weber to Montreal in exchange for P.K. Subban.
Both of these deals sent defensemen Seth Jones and Weber to other teams, but Poile still managed to have arguably one of the best defenses in the league. He even found a way to improve the defensive corps by getting the dynamic Subban from the Canadiens.
The deals have gotten mostly positive feedback and have shown the fan base that the Predators front office boss is willing to take a risk to make the team a top contender.
David Poile Near Top of Poll
The Hockey News released a survey on how confident fans feel about their respective general manager, and Poile got ranked in the third spot. The Predators were only behind the second-place Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, which occupied the top spot.
The scale was weighted from 1-10, and Nashville scored very high with an 8.08. The cumulative score was based on six categories (Roster building, cap building, draft/development, trading, free agency and vision). The Predators did well across all categories as its lowest score was a 6.73 in free agency, and that mark was still good enough for fifth place.
The highest-rated category was trading, which Nashville rated first in the entire league with an 8.87. The Jones-Johansen and Weber Subban deals unsurprisingly rocketed the club into the top spot.
The confidence in the GM from the fans has risen after the two deals, some good drafts and some younger players picking up the slack. The aggressive plan is getting high marks around the league.
Dallas Stars beat writer Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News said it was the biggest move of the offseason, and others have been impressed the risks the Nashville general manager is willing to take.
Poile even told Adam Vingan of The Tennessean that he’s happy with the look of the club.
“I hope it says we’re trying to win,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “I think what we’ve done in the last year and the last two years under (coach Peter Laviolette) is we’ve made great progress. … You know the direction we’re trying to do. We’re trying to win. And we’re in the entertainment business. We’re trying to put on a good show for our fans. I like our makeup.”
Let’s remember that offseason moves are only part of winning a title. The players still have to do their part and try to win the championship. Subban did say that he “felt closer” to winning a Cup since the trade to Nashville.
These polls also change like the wind. A bad start in the tough opening month of October will make the high numbers wane. There was a good chunk of Pittsburgh Penguins fans that were questioning the moves of Jim Rutherford last offseason, but the result was a Stanley Cup championship.
There are Montreal fans who are questioning Marc Bergevin’s moves, but that uncertainty will go away if there is success.
All that’s known is the Predators are in a prime position to contend thanks to the moves of the last six-plus months.