General Manager David Poile has been a contract genius this offseason with the Nashville Predators. The deals solidify why he won the NHL’s GM of the Year.
If you don’t know by now, David Poile is a contract genius. As if Poile had anything to prove after winning the NHL’s General Manager of the Year, he signed back all of the Nashville Predators restricted free agents from this offseason.
This offseason for Poile has been full of contracts. Within the past week, Poile inked deals with Ryan Johansen, Austin Watson and Viktor Arvidsson. In earlier weeks, Poile signed back Yannick Weber, Frederick Gaudreau and Pontus Aberg as well.
Poile was busy on the beginning days of the NHL’s Free Agency period. Nick Bonino signed with the Predators within the first few hours. The same day, the Predators were in a deal for Alexei Emelin from the Vegas Golden Knights for a third round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Scott Hartnell was also reunited with the Predators as he signed a one year deal.
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Although the Predators lost Colin Wilson to a trade with the Colorado Avalanche, and James Neal to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft, it helped clear up over $22 million in cap space to make deals for the rest of the offseason. Clearing up that cap space from losing Neal helped shape way for the signings of Johansen, Watson, Arvidsson, Aberg, Gaudreau, Weber and potentially Mike Fisher.
Mike Fisher, who still hasn’t made the announcement whether he will retire or will return to play another year in the NHL, could potentially sign back with the Predators for one more season. The Predators have around $5.4 million left in cap space, and that money would likely go to Fisher if he was to return to the Predators.
David Poile’s experience
David Poile is experienced. You can tell that from this offseason. He’s been the Predators GM since Day 1, and has been a GM in the NHL for over 30 years. Poile’s experience has helped the Predators ink deals for over 10 players this offseason on a limited budget.
Poile is also not afraid to make that big offseason trade. He did it last offseason when he traded captain Shea Weber for P.K. Subban from the Montreal Canadians. In year’s past, he’s been a part of huge trades such as when he sent Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Ryan Johansen. In one of his most gutsy moves as a GM, he sent Martin Erat to the Washington Capitals for a young Filip Forsberg.
David Poile is the longest tenured GM in the league right now. Behind him is Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks. It’s hard to look at the San Jose Sharks and the Nashville Predators and not see similarities. Wilson has been known in past years to make big contract deals, and also isn’t afraid to get rid of other players for a big name. In the 2011 offseason, the Sharks made moves to get Brent Burns from the Minnesota Wild. That move ended up paying off, and the Sharks signed him back to a eight-year deal last offseason.
This offseason, Wilson has signed back key pieces in Joe Thorton, Chris Tierney, Martin Jones and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Poile and Wilson aren’t only the longest tenured GM’s in the league right now, they are also the most experienced. That has shown this offseason with the contract deals both of them have struck.