Nashville Predators Can Learn from the Avs Team that Just Swept Them

May 9, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) in the hand shake line after an Avalanche win to eliminate the Predators in game four of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
May 9, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) in the hand shake line after an Avalanche win to eliminate the Predators in game four of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Nashville Predators face difficult decisions this offseason that go all the way to the top in the front office.

We’re going through the debate of how much blame should go to the players, coaches and front office for yet another season of postseason failures for the Nashville Predators.

It really comes down to the fact that this organization has only had one General Manager in its entire 24-year existence. A lot of playoff appearances, but no Stanley Cups and a lot of first rounds of the team getting flat out exposed.

On the other hand, The Colorado Avalanche rebuilt their orgnaization into consistently being one of the best teams in the NHL, but it took time and smart leadership at the top.

Nashville Predators need some bold changes at the top

David Poile is widely-regarded as one of the best general managers in the NHL, and he does have the most wins in NHL history. He achieved that feat in 2018 in the midst of the Nashville Predators winning a Presidents Trophy and looking to repeat their magical postseason run from 2017.

Since then, it’s really been an uphill battle that this franchise can’t climb up. They’re stuck in the proverbial mud of painfully average. Good enough to get the participation trophy and be in the postseason, but nowhere near good enough to realistically win a Stanley Cup anytime soon. Not with this roster and coaching.

Nashville Predators Captain and Norris Trophy finalist Roman Josi said it pretty clear as the team was available to the media one last time before the offseason, per On the Forecheck:

If not now, then when will it be time for ownership to make changes at the top? If Poile wasn’t the only general manager this team has ever had in over two decades, then maybe you pull some positives out of this season and keep it moving forward without changes in the front office.

However, this season of once again getting exposed in the opening round should just be another example of many over the last few seasons of this franchise being a long ways from winning a Stanley Cup.

The goal isn’t to make the playoffs and hope for the best. We should be accustomed to that by now with 15 postseason appearances. Poile has the Predators at a 54-71 record in the playoffs during his tenure. A record that would be so much worse if not for the 2017 run to the Stanley Cup Final.

All of this is without even mentioning the real possibility that Filip Forsberg could go to a new team for nothing in return, and a total mishap by Poile managing this situation at the trade deadline.

The Nashville Predators ownership group can’t keep kicking the can down the road and hope that eventually this team will replicate what they did in 2017. It’s not a winning strategy. I look at owners who make difficult decisions to change leadership from the top that eventually turn franchises into contenders every year.

The Colorado Avalanche blueprint to success

We just saw one of those teams sweep the Predators, and that’s the Colorado Avalanche. A team that methodically built their team into a bonafide contender every year by hitting home runs on some big draft picks, making key trades and finding a great head coach in Jared Bednar.

Just look at the bold decisions the Colorado Avalanche made starting in 2014 as a blueprint for a team like the Nashville Predators.

Bednar came to the Avalanche with the team in the midst of missing the playoffs five of their previous six seasons, and having a new General Manager to work under, former Avalanhce legend Joe Sakic.

Just look at this past trade deadline and how aggressive the Avalanche were by making four trades in March, including key additions to their playoff roster by acquiring Josh Manson, Artturi Lehkonen and Nico Sturm.

Not to mention the 2021 trade to get Darcy Kuemper. A front office that’s aggressive and not afraid to take some risks to build a roster that checks all the boxes.

It took Bednar just one full season before getting the Avalanche back consistently into the postseason and quickly becoming legit Stanley Cup contenders.

Even when the Predators elimianted the Avalanche in six games of the first round in 2018, you could see that the Avalanche were building something special.

Now I’m not saying the Nashville Predators have go through a decade of dark ages to fix everything. If you get the right coaching staff and front office leadership in here, then the new regime has a blend of young talent and veterans to build around.

A fresh vision for this franchise is desperately needed after over two decades

Systematic changes and acquiring better players on the open market is something Poile has failed at recently. He has drafted moderately well, so I’ll give him that.

The Predators showed this past season that they can overperform expectations, but it also took some career-best seasons from so many players. Can we count on that to happen again next season? Probably not.

It comes down to doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something to change. It’s been 24 seasons for crying out loud. And every year they decide to give it one more year because we got so close by making the playoffs. It shouldn’t cut it anyore, plain and simple.

It’s time to make the hard to decision to part ways from both Poile, and with that Hynes. You don’t keep Hynes around as head coach if a change at general manager occurs.

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Hynes also had a lot to prove as head coach in this series. It’s obviously not all on him and it’s up to the players to perform, but I also saw a team that wasn’t galvonized there at the end, but more dejected.

The Nashville Predators can’t keep going down this road of being a stale franchise that doesn’t compete for Stanley Cups, and it’s probably a scenario of taking a step or two back to eventually go ten steps forward.