Nashville Predators GM David Poile’s unusual longevity came into the spotlight on Dec. 16 when he oversaw his team’s 3-2 shootout victory over Boston. It was 1,171st win as a general manager, which gave him sole claim on second place on the NHL’s all-time list, behind only Rangers GM Glen Sather (1,278 wins).
“It’s one of those things later on when you’re retired and look back on your career, it’s going to be very meaningful because it’s guys like Glen Sather, Harry Sinden and Cliff Fletcher,” Poile told the Tennessean. “It’s a pretty nice accomplishment that certainly reflects longevity for sure, obviously with a lot of good coaches and a lot of good players.”
Poile, who served as the Washington Capitals general manager before coming to Nashville, has managed to turn the Predators into a team that’s able to compete on a budget. From 2003-04 through 2011-12, the Predators made the playoffs in seven out of eight campaigns, although they never advanced beyond the second round.
They also haven’t made the postseason since, which prompted Poile to fire long-time bench boss Barry Trotz and replace him with Peter Laviolette. Poile also attempted to address the team’s offensive shortcomings by bringing Mike Ribeiro, James Neal, and Derek Roy on board. Combined with the emergence of Calder Trophy frontrunner Filip Forsberg and Nashville has been respectable enough offensively to allow its superior defense and goaltending to win games. The Predators entered the break with a 22-9-2 record.