- Kristen Shilton is a national NHL reporter for ESPN.
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile — the winningest GM in NHL history and Nashville’s only GM to date — is retiring after 26 seasons with the club, sources told ESPN Sunday, confirming earlier reports.
That move will be effective June 30. Poile, who also holds the title of president of hockey operations, is expected to remain with the franchise in a consulting role.
Barry Trotz, the first coach in Predators’ history, is set to take over for Poile officially in June, but will join the team immediately as an adviser in preparation for the eventual shift.
Poile, 73, spent 15 seasons as GM of the Washington Capitals before joining the Predators in 1997, when Nashville joined the NHL as an expansion franchise. His Predators’ teams have reached the playoffs in 15 of the past 18 years. Nashville is currently eight points out of a postseason spot, though, and headed toward a transitional phase, open to selling assets ahead of the Friday’s trade deadline while charting the organization’s next step.
Nevertheless, Poile had a strong run in Nashville (including a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2017), and remains the only GM in league history to lead two separate franchises (the Predators and Capitals) for over 1,000 games while earning 500 wins.
Trotz coached Nashville from 1998 to 2014 and remains the winningest coach in team history, with 557 wins. He moved on to Washington for four seasons, during which Trotz won a Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach in 2015-16 and the franchise’s only Stanley Cup in 2018.
Trotz left Washington for the New York Islanders ahead of the 2018-19 season, and he took that club to back-to-back appearances in the Stanley Cup semifinals. He was relieved of those duties in May after the Islanders failed to reach the postseason.
Trotz drew plenty of quick interest from teams eager for his services last summer, but ultimately decided to wait on making his next move.
On Saturday, the Predators began to work on their roster with the deadline looming. Nashville dealt veteran right wing Nino Niederreiter to the Winnipeg Jets for a second-round draft pick in 2024.
Sportsnet was first to report news of Poile’s decision and the Trotz hire.
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