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Preds’ Poile Cuts an Impressive Figure in Hockey World

Tuesday, 04.24.2012 / 6:13 PM CT / Features
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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On Tuesday, Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations and General Manager David Poile was named as one of three finalists for the National Hockey League’s General Manager of the Year award. The award has been in existence for only three seasons, and Poile is the only GM to have been tapped for consideration all three times. He hasn’t won—yet.

In typical modest fashion, Poile spread the honor among team ownership and members of his hockey operations department while talking with media Tuesday morning.

“I’ve got a few emails already from my scouting staff,” he said while listing those who surround and support his work on a daily basis. “I keep telling them the same thing: You keep drafting those good players and I’ll keep getting nominated for this award. They’ve done a great job. Whenever I have a chance I always applaud them because that has been a foundation of our team.”

Poile is clearly deserving of his third straight nomination, given his redefinition of the Predators last summer and his bold acquisitions prior to the trade deadline. Beyond the accolade, though, it became obvious during Poile’s chat with the media just how vital he is to the Predators organization and the hockey world at large. He’s the son of National Hockey League player and executive Bud Poile—an NHL Hall of Famer in the Builders division—and his hockey knowledge runs at least as deep as his hockey roots. Like his father, he is more than a mover of pieces—a hockey chessmaster, if you will. He’s a builder of teams, of relationships and of a larger hockey tradition.

When answering a question about his fellow award nominees Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers) and Doug Armstrong (St. Louis Blues), Poile praised their work while revealing long-lasting connections with his peers.

“Dale’s taken a team that was basically off the map, that [people] didn’t like his chances for his franchise surviving let alone his team, and he’s now got a chance with a win tonight to get into the second round of the playoffs,” Poile said. “[He] was my roommate in my only training camp I ever went to, as a Vancouver Canuck, when he was a first-round pick. I was there for a week. He was there for like 10 years.”

“Doug Armstrong used to work for me in Washington,” Poile continued. “[I] hired him coming out of college. He worked in the sales department in Washington and eventually got a job in Dallas and got promoted.”

And later when turning his attention to Nashville’s second-round meeting with the Phoenix Coyotes, Poile’s analysis again revealed a personal story.

“We know what their strengths are,” he said of the Coyotes. “I don’t really think that they have any weaknesses. Their coach is very structured. That’s how he played as a defensive player—Dave Tippett, also a former player of mine in Washington. They know exactly how he wants to play. They don’t take a lot of chances. They certainly rely on their defense and fabulous goaltending this year.”

Possessing a wealth of personal connections and an acute hockey mind, Poile plays a role for the Nashville Predators organization that is much larger than the title “general manager” would indicate. His influence upon hockey is greater than one could measure with an award. Still, Poile politely and proudly accepts the recognition from his peers and continues to enjoy the story he’s helping to write in the hockey history books.

“The only job I’ve ever had has been in hockey,” he said. “I think I’m pretty focused on that. It’s a special job. There’s only 30 of them in the world so I’m very respectful of that and very appreciative that I’ve had this many years to be a manager. Hockey’s been good to me. Hopefully I’ve put in my effort to get us there.”

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HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61