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Predators GM speaks out about Rinne signing

Nov 3, 2011, 6:50 PM EDT

Pekka Rinne AP

The Nashville Predators certainly made waves this morning when they signed their franchise netminder Pekka Rinne to a seven-year deal for $49 million. Opinions have been flying all over the internet from, “he’s an elite netminder and this is what elite goaltenders get paid,” to “what was David Poile thinking?” Now we have some answers to the latter question.

“If you follow through now with what Shea gets in salary and what Pekka gets in salary, what Suter could logically expect in salary, you could see where our payroll is going,” the Preds GM told The Tennessean. “That’s why you hear me talk about the window of opportunity for our franchise. The window of opportunity is not just today, it’s as long as we sign these core players. That’s what I’m trying to hit home to them to get them to believe in.”

For those who are saying that the Predators can’t afford to re-sign all three free agent stars this offseason, it sounds like Poile is one step ahead. Most fans understand that the Preds don’t spend to the cap—but it’s also clear that a general manager has a better understanding of his team’s finances than a typical outsider. From that standpoint, it sounds like Poile and the Predators have a clear plan.

It’s not just for next season either. Not only do they want to lock up these three players, but they want to go out and find some scoring as well. “We have to find that other missing player,” Poile said. “Be it (Alex) Radulov coming back, or if we’re able to make another Mike Fisher trade sometime during the year or at the trading deadline. Our ownership and myself are committed to making that happen.”

People will continue to have their opinions, but those who are saying that Poile doesn’t have a plan should follow the Predators a little closer. Poile is one of the best GMs in the league and consistently puts a competitive team on the ice despite past budget constraints. Usually, the man knows what he’s doing.

  1. vshehane - Nov 3, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Never doubt Poile. Best GM in the league.

  2. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Nov 3, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    You can’t honestly think that can you? I think Nashville has done well seeing as where they are located in North America, but in no way can you consider him to be in the best of the best in GM talk.

  3. jaybaileys - Nov 3, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    I think Ken Holland and Ray Shero are slightly better with the playoff pedigree to rival anyone’s lately.

    • danphipps01 - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:27 PM

      Add to that Brian Burke – it’s easy to take shots at the Kessel deal, but let’s look at his record building teams – the Ducks won the Cup under him, the Canucks he assembled the core components of went to game seven of the Finals (admittedly, quite a while later, but led entirely by his draft picks) and still have at least a couple of years to make further runs, and Toronto’s gone from the basement to one of the best teams so far this season. Burke assembles some scary rosters. His selection as the U.S. Olympic manager speaks volumes.

  4. cshearing - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    Poile is definitely in the top ranks of NHL GMs. People point to the Preds lack of playoff success, and that does ring true. However you have to look at the resources he has had available, and compare that to the success of the team to get a true picture of his abilities. Holland, Shero & Burke have never had the kind of cap restraint that Poile must work with.

    That said, it looks like Poile’s resources are getting an upgrade. We’ll see if he is as good at spending money as he is at saving it. :)

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