Eeli Tolvanen (Seattle Kraken)
This is still a fresh wound that hasn’t healed yet for Predators fans, so sorry for bringing this up so soon but it has to be done.
Arguably the final blow to Poile’s legacy as the General Manager of the Nashville Predators. The one that fans that maybe were still clinging on and defending him finally just threw their hands up and said “I’ve finally had enough”.
“This could be a mistake on our part. That’s on me if he turns out to be really successful, but we thought we tried him in a lot of different areas, different places.”-David Poile Told 102.5 The Game back in January
Tolvanen was sent to waivers by the Predators on December 11, 2022. No one in their right mind thought that he would clear, and sure enough, he didn’t. The Seattle Kraken wisely swooped in and claimed him, and Tolvanen went on to pot 16 goals.
To that into painful perspective, that’s just nine goals shy of his five years with the Predators. And it further added to the need of not only moving on from Poile in the front office, but John Hynes as Head Coach of a system stuck in the mud and relying too much on elite goaltending.
Elite goaltending can sweep your problems under the rug for a little bit in the regular season, but usually those things show their ugly faces at the worst time.
Heck, even Poile himself admitted that waiving Tolvanen could end up being a mistake. At least he saw his mistake. He originally told Predators flagship station102.5 The Game that they tried him in different areas and that Seattle is playing him higher in the lineup, giving him better opportunities to succeed.
That takes personal accountability that you can respect, but doesn’t absolve you from the massive lapse in judgement.
Tolvanen now has a chance to watch his NHL career take off with a Kraken team who is certainly playoff caliber, and building towards being a Stanley Cup contender in short order. He is going into his final year of his contract that was originally signed by the Predators.