David Poile

Report: Flames targeted Preds GM Poile prior to Burke hire

Prior to Calgary hiring Brian Burke as its president of hockey operations, the Flames targeted another high-profile candidate — NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan.

Now, reports suggest there was a third high-profile candidate too.

Longtime Nashville GM David Poile — a three-time finalist for NHL General Manager of the Year — was approached for the job, according to The Province’s Tony Gallagher:

The Flames interviewed NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan for the job that Burke officially took Thursday in Calgary, but the former Red Wings star turned it down, apparently wishing to remain in a larger city.

Further, so did Nashville GM David Poile, who was also approached by the Flames ownership over the summer, the team evidently asking for and receiving permission to speak to the longtime Preds boss.

He also wished to remain where he is.

Poile does have ties to Calgary and the Flames organization. He spent two years with the club as an assistant GM back in the early 80s — following the move from Atlanta — and worked with then-GM Cliff Fletcher on the famous trade that brought Lanny McDonald to town.

This summer, he spent time talking with Flames CEO Ken King about rebuilding the Saddledome following July’s floods in Southern Alberta. Poile had dealt with a similar situation in 2010 when flood waters invaded Tennessee.

King also stated he’d created a long list of potential candidates for the hockey ops job — a list that had 60 names on it, apparently.

This report makes one wonder about incumbent GM Jay Feaster’s job security in Calgary.

While Burke made it clear that Feaster’s job was safe, it’s interesting to think how different the situation would’ve been if a three-time GM of the Year nominee — and architect of the U.S. Olympic team — was brought in.

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    GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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    On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

    Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

    Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

    “I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

    Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

    Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

    Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

    The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

    Next four games: Three out of four at home
    Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

    As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

    For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

    via AP

    Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

    Alex Ovechkin
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    Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

    He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

    Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

    That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

    This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

    No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.