Hynes must show improvement in his coaching
This is one right here is huge for Poile, and while it is something that is not entirely in his control, how Hynes performs as head coach reflects on the guy who hired him, which is Poile.
This is especially the case because Barry Trotz and others were available for hiring, and Poile passed on them, which indicates that he really believes in Hynes.
Now, giving him a two-year contract extension is not the worst thing in the world because it does show that Poile still needs to see more before he commits to him long term. But with the problems the Predators had on the ice this year, if Hynes cannot fix them, it will be yet another bad decision by Poile that alone should warrant finally getting a new general manager for this organization.
The biggest thing is the amount of penalties that the team took this year, and if the Predators cannot improve their discipline they can forget about any Stanley Cup ambitions they have.
Another glaring issue with Hynes’ coaching has been defensive structure, as Juuse Saros has bailed them out time and time again.
Hynes, while he has gotten better at this, has to make sure he can roll consistent and dependable lines throughout the season. One line, in particular that has to be kept intact is the line of Eeli Tolvanen, Cody Glass, and Philip Tomasino.
One of the biggest criticisms of Poile and Hynes is that they have not allowed the youth to develop properly, and flipping these players, especially Tolvanen and Tomasino, from line to line has been a huge reason why.
Regardless, Hynes has a lot to improve, and Poile will once again be heavily scrutinized on this extension for Hynes if things go sour early next season.
Final Thoughts on Poile’s Job Security
Let’s get one thing straight; many if not all things have to go right if Poile is to be trusted again by this fanbase. Beyond constant first-round exits, he is continually playing with fire season after season.
The Forsberg situation is a perfect example, especially when the team knew (or at least should have known) that this was not the year and could have gotten a haul for him at the trade deadline.
Bringing Hynes back is another example, and while it’s somewhat understandable to give him another couple of years to make improvements, him ascending to the next level is so dependent on several what-ifs.
And for all the risks Poile has taken, it seems as if he has not taken the right ones, such as trading up for a top five draft pick or superstar forward.
It seems that all the decisions Poile has made come back to one common theme — they have always led to mediocrity. With the right moves, Poile can right this ship, but is that something we can trust him to do after all this time? Especially when it comes to free agency and trades, can we trust that he is not going to overpay, overcommit, or just sign someone who does not fit the Predators’ needs?
There are more questions than answers, and everyone can agree that first round exits will just not be tolerated anymore.