Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- The Nashville Predators will have some time to soak in their early exit from the 2020 postseason, and so will the winningest general manager in the NHL, David Poile. In a Zoom conference call on Thursday, Poile made it clear change is coming.
“Bottom line, this is unacceptable. And this is how we have to view this result is that we have to be better, and it’s not acceptable,” said Poile.
Since making it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, the Predators have digressed in the playoffs. Their most recent exit come courtesy of the Arizona Coyotes, who eliminated the Preds in four games during the Qualifying Round in Edmonton.
“There were a lot of things that we were better at then them (Arizona Coyotes), but the bottom line is that we lost, so obviously this is very disappointing,” added Poile.
The ‘core’ of the team not been shaken, but Poile did make a big move back in January when he fired Peter Laviolette and hired John Hynes as the new head coach. Poile believes he’s helped in several categories, and things are headed in the right direction.
Poile said, ” John has made a lot of changes on the ice and off the ice. He’s refereed to how you physically play the game and the mental part of the game, and I think our players are adjusting and changing.”
But when it comes down to it there wasn’t enough change this past season to push the Predators in the right direction and Poile plans on making more moves in order for the team to get back to the ‘Predator Way.’
“We need to get back to our identity. We have to become the hardest-working team in the league. We have to play with more intensity,” said Poile.
The process has already started for the Predators’ front office, using the NHL pause to meet almost weekly, breaking down players and putting together a plan for the offseason.
“We’ve previously identified what changes that we thought we’d have to make or want to make for the ’20-’21 season, and then it obviously it’s solidified or readjusted based on what we did or didn’t do against Arizona. So I think we’re organized,” added Poile.
The Predators will have the No. 11 pick in the first round of the NHL draft set for Oct. 9-10. As for the upcoming season, there is not set start date, but play is expected to get underway sometime in December.