How appropriate that the Nashville Predators were playing against the Edmonton Oilers for this moment, huh?
With the 4-2 win over Edmonton on Thursday night, Preds General Manager David Poile passed Glen Sather as the winningest GM in the history of the National Hockey League. Sather, of course, spearheaded the Oilers to five Stanley Cup championships between 1984 and 1990. Poile, unfortunately, is still waiting for his first Cup.
“We’re here to win the ultimate prize,” Poile told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. “I haven’t done that, you know? I would sure like that.”
There’s still a lot of hockey left to be played but his wait may come to an end this June. With Nashville competing for both Central Division and Western Conference titles, they appear poised to make a second consecutive run to the Stanley Cup Final. They came up two wins short last year and did so without Kevin Fiala (injured in the second round) and Ryan Johansen (injured in the Western Conference Final). Could they have won the whole thing had those two injuries not occurred? We’ll never know but, what most believe is that this 2017-18 Predators squad is actually better.
“We’ve got to get to the playoffs first but, once we get there, I think we have as good a chance as anybody,” Poile said during his post-deadline presser.
Hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup would be the ultimate prize in an already special season for the Predators organization. In November, Pekka Rinne passed Miikka Kiprusoff for the most shutouts by a Finnish-born goaltender, in February, Rinne became just the 34th goalie ever to win 300 games and, on Thursday, Poile became the winningest GM in the 100-year history of the NHL.
And there’s more to come.
What’s even more amazing than the feat itself? Poile has achieved the milestone with just two clubs. The former Northeastern University Husky amassed 594 wins with the Washington Capitals (1982-1995) and all 726 wins in Nashville’s franchise history (1997-current).
The city of Edmonton, Alberta is also significant as his father, Bud Poile, played and coached the WHL’s Edmonton Flyers for nine years.
Bud and David are the only father-son combination to win the Lester Patrick Trophy, given annually for significant contributions to ice hockey in the United States. Bud won in 1989 and was alive long enough to see his son win the award in 2001.