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Even after 31 years as general manager in the National Hockey League, David Poile has not learned everything yet. As years go by, he learns from his mistakes and has attempted to correct them.
Monday’s re-signing of Roman Josi showed that.
Poile went straight to business after the final horn sounded in Columbus on April 27. He stated his goal was to re-sign forward Patric Hornqvist and 23-year old defenseman Roman Josi.
There was no way Poile wanted to get into a similar situation with Josi as he did with Predators’ captain Shea Weber in past years when trying to keep him in Nashville.
After leading Nashville to the second round for the first time in franchise history, negotiations for a new contract became difficult in the summer of 2011. Weber elected to go to arbitration, where things can turn ugly. The player’s side is giving examples about why he should earn ‘x’ amount of dollars, while management is trying to tell the mediator why he shouldn’t be paid that, but rather be paid this.
Unfortunately for the Nashville GM, he was only able to sign his prized possession to a one-year deal, meaning he had to repeat the process next summer.
After losing Ryan Suter on Independence Day, Poile refused to lose out again, especially not on Weber.
But Poile was surely stunned a little bit after Weber signed a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers. All Poile had to do was match it. And after discussions with ownership, he did so.
The past two summers for Predators’ management have been hectic trying to secure star players. Surely their goal this offseason was to avoid a similar situation with Josi like they did with Weber.
“We cannot be controlled by that. We cannot make decisions by that,” said Poile on offer sheets.
Poile is learning from his mistakes in the past, and in doing so, is growing in his hockey IQ.
“I think the foundation continues to get stronger with last year signing Pekka, then Shea, and now signing Roman. Our core pieces are in place.”