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Predators president David Poile retiring, Barry Trotz to take over as GM

David Poile leaves Barry Trotz with a serious challenge as Predators GM.

The Nashville Predators are slated to make a huge change, but a very familiar face will run the place. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported a stunning double-shot of news: David Poile is slated to retire as Predators president and general manager, handing the GM keys to former head coach Barry Trotz. The Predators confirmed the report on Sunday.

Trotz will get to work right away, although the official title change won't kick in until June 30. Poile will remain affiliated with the organization as an advisor.

"This is a decision that is best for me personally and best for the Nashville Predators," Poile said in a release. "For the Predators, I believe it is time for a new voice and a new direction. I am proud of the foundation we have put in place in our hockey operations, investing in and improving every area of the department. This is the right time for someone else to move our franchise forward."

David Poile is retiring from his position of president and general manager of the Predators. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
David Poile is retiring from his position of president and general manager of the Predators. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

One long-time face of the Predators hands the GM job to another

Generally, the Predators have given the impression that they’re a franchise that’s reluctant to change — at least at the executive level and when it comes to truly tearing down the roster. If Friedman’s reports are correct, this accomplishes an interesting mix of interjecting change with familiarity.

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Poile, 73, spent 26 years as Predators GM, the team’s only general manager up until now (or “June 30”). Poile already came to Nashville as an experienced executive, as he was the Washington Capitals' general manager for 25 years.

Your opinion of his work may hinge on expectations. On one hand, about a half-century of work never translated to a single Stanley Cup win. Both the Capitals and Predators became playoff regulars under Poile’s watch, which was no small feat for an expansion franchise that didn’t enjoy the jumpstart afforded to the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken.

Of course, Trotz was just as integral to the Predators' ascent to competence, serving as their head coach for a whopping 15 years (1998-99 to 2013-14). While the Predators reached a Stanley Cup Final after Trotz left, the defensive-minded coach only added to his impressive coaching resume after being fired by Poile. Trotz won a Stanley Cup with the Capitals and guided a New York Islanders team that lost John Tavares to deep playoff runs.

That’s impressive stuff, but will Trotz be able to translate that coaching mastery to the skills that suit a GM?