Yesterday’s news that Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz will not be returning for the 2014-15 season was massive. It is the first change at the head coaching position in the history of the franchise. Quite possibly lost in the attention and emotion from yesterday’s press conferences were the words spoken by Predators Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager David Poile.
Here are a few quotes said by Poile that relate to rebuilding, the Milwaukee Admirals, and the future of the organization:
“I’ve been consciously making some changes over the last year. It’s really started with Marty Erat requesting to be traded. So, we traded a veteran stable. A guy that was a foundation of our team for many years for a young player in Filip Forsberg. So it’s a 33-year old player for a 19-year old player.
We brought in Phil Housley last year to our coaching staff to change that up – to work with our power-play and with our young defense core. In the off-season we signed several free agents. And we traded another veteran this year in Kevin Klein for Michael Del Zotto – another younger player.
At the trade deadline this year we traded our first player that we ever drafted in David Legwand for Calle Jarnkrok and a second round pick from the Detroit Red Wings.
Essentially, we’ve been on a little bit of a rebuild on the fly. To me, we have enough good parts to build around. We have two of the league’s best in Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber. We finished the season here last night with nine-players 24-years or younger – five of those are defensemen: Josi, Ellis, Del Zotto, Ekholm, and Jones. And we got four forwards that are 24 or younger: Jarnkrok, Smith, Bourque, and Wilson. And I think you’ve seen a little bit of a glimpse of the future with Colton Sissons, Filip Forsberg, and I think we’ve got a couple other forwards coming in the pipeline.
I really believe in this roster going forward. I think, with reasonable good health but more importantly every player playing to our expectations, this is a team certainly capable of making the playoffs.
When I think about Pekka Rinne being back to 100% and having a great off-season, along with Carter Hutton, we could have one of the best goaltending tandems in the league.
Our defense, there is no question in my mind, that our defense is going to be one of the best defenses in the league: led by Weber – who should win the Norris Trophy this year, Roman Josi, Seth Jones – is gonna be a star, I think you all saw how good Ekholm and Ellis got in the last part of the season.
And our forwards are changing. They’re getting better. If this last ten-games is any indication of the future with all the scoring – bring it on – that’s exactly what we need.”
“Milwaukee, our farm club that we are so proud of, has made the playoffs again. We’re going to watch them play. As I mentioned a couple of names like Filip Forsberg, Austin Watson, Taylor Beck, Salomaki have all had good years down there.”
“We’ve been focusing the last two or three years on player acquisitions and trying to get more offensive players. We got a couple of kids coming out of juniors. Brendan Leipsic, who is one of the leading scorers in the Western Hockey League that should be in Milwaukee next year. We hope to sign Pontus Aberg from Sweden – who is an offensive player – to get him started in Milwaukee.”
“How about our scoring in the last ten-games? I mean – where did that come from? Is that the real thing or is it not? Craig Smith had a really off year last year – gets twenty-four goals this year. We need a few more of those stories. A young player like Calle Jarnkrok has come in and almost has a point a game. I’m not saying that’s what he going to be but looks like he’s going to bring some offense. I know that Filip Forsberg, down in Milwaukee, he’s young – he’s got to mature – I know he is going to bring us some offense. I hope it is as soon as next year.”
There is a lot to take in from what was said. What are your impressions of everything mentioned by David Poile?