Nashville Predators Management: D- (Up from an F)
Chalk this improvement on the Nashville Predator’s report card up to the “youth movement” we’re finally seeing in full force – it only took a quarter of the season, condescension and patronizing from management, and a ton of injuries for us to see it finally. As much as people will question David Poile and Co., and possibly rightfully so (i.e., John Hynes quick hire), the team’s prospect pool has shown up and been worthy of NHL ice time.
Prior to the 2020 draft, many thought the cupboard was quite empty when it came to prospects, but it turns out the kids are alright. The team has started up to 8 rookies in the lineup at a given time, and in games where they could have easily folded, they competed and fought hard (unfortunately, sometimes too late in the game).
Players like Eeli Tolvanen, Yakov Trenin, Mathieu Olivier, Jeremy Davies, Alexandre Carrier, and even lesser-known names like Michale McCarron, Rem Pitlick, Ben Harpur, and Frederic Allard have shown flashes of what you hope you’d see in a franchise’s future. With the exception of Tolvanen and maybe Trenin, the rookies may need more time to develop (and put on some additional muscle/hit that growth spurt), but they show a LOT of promise.
The big question looms for what GMDP does with the trade deadline right around the corner. Rumors are swirling around players like Ekholm, snake-bitten Viktor Arvidsson, and spark-plug-on-a-short-contract Mikael Granlund, just to name a few. There are also questions about who is leading this team on the ice (coaching) and if they will continue to do so. How Poile navigates the next few weeks will be very telling of whether or not the grace he has been given will last.