Diamond: Firing Barry Trotz wouldn't fix the Predators
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12-12-2013, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Interesting dilemma on ending up with nothing for Hamhuis and Suter. Putting both situations back into the context those decisions were made, in both cases, Poile decided we were "going for it" in the playoffs by playing them instead of trading them and weakening the team going into the playoffs. Either move would have sent fans a negative message about our commitment to win in the playoffs in both of those years.
Hammer was different than Suter. We could have re-signed Hammer but didn't want to pay him $4mm a year. At that time, Webs and Suts were making $3.5mm each and Poile was saving his dry powder to lock them both up for the long term, high dollar contracts. Funny thing is, I asked Trotz what he thought it would take to lock them up. This was before the Webs arbitration and any thought of Suter following his man-crush on Parise. He said $7mm a year for many years for both. I remember being shocked that he felt Suter should get Weber bucks. At the time, Suter seemed one small level down from Webs. Not in Trotz eyes. He said he expected both to be in the HOF and wanted them to go in together as Preds. Anyway, paying Hammer $4mm for multiple years was viewed as not possible if we were planning on spending so much on the D position for Suts and Webs.
This was the first miscalculation by Poile. If he knew that Suter was going to bolt when he became a UFA, he would have likely re-signed Hammer.
Then when Suter wouldn't talk contract until the end of the 2011-12 season, we were in major "go for it mode". We got Goose, Gill, AK46, and Rads. We were as loaded as any Pred team except maybe 2007. If Poile had traded Suter at the trade deadline, he would have been fried by the fan base. The ultimate loss in the playoffs would have been blamed on him. We may have lost to the Wings instead of beating them in 5. I certainly understand the dilemma he was in and why he did what he did.
As a fan base, we will always blame Suter for misleading us, stringing us along, and whining to management about upgrading the team as a condition of his re-signing. Then after Poile becomes his be-otch, upgrades the team by pissing away a few more draft picks, and then rolls the Rads dice by taking just 10 games plus the playoffs as his last year before free agency instead of waiting and forcing him to play a full year if he wanted to come back to the NHL, Suter bleeps us.
So, instead of moving along to the Conference final with a stacked, win-now team, we lost to an inferior Yotes team, mishandled curfew-gate and let AK46 and Rads go for nothing, and of course missed out on that lying sack-of-spit Suter. Instead of a Mini-Pred-Level-Dynasty, we ended up with overpaid grinders, less draft picks to reload, a huge whole on defense and the weakening of our unique strength of 30-minutes-of-lock-down-D-Hell courtesy of Webs-Suts.
Poile's a good man and a good GM. We owe him a lot. However, the missteps above have put us where we are. Understanding the dilemma he was in doesn't excuse the results. He's paid to navigate this stuff and he screwed up with two of our brightest home grown stars (Suts and Rads). Then to make up for this, he's forced to give Webs the biggest contract in NHL D-man history. If he had signed Webs two years earlier instead of going to arbitration, we could have saved $50mm.
It pains me to be down on Poile but this is on him.
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