Yesterday, Predators General Manger David Poile gave fans a scare when he didn’t call in for his appointed interview with 104.5 The Zone. Radio hosts Willy Daunic and George Plaster were at a loss until Poile, never one to miss an interview, called in a few minutes later. Preds fans were interested in hearing Poile’s side of the story as to why he has chosen to do what he has been. Instead, fans were surprised to hear David Poile say that the third defense for this coming season might be “all new kids. New to the NHL.”
What the what? If you are confused by this and don’t understand why Poile would do this, don’t be; there is a back story to this:
Two years ago, Poile announced at the Skate of the Union that he wanted to do the same as he stated yesterday, with a fresh lineup of “homegrown” (a player that started in either Nashville or Milwaukee) talent (at that time it was Weber, Klein, Hamhuis, Suter, Laakso and Franson). Do to an injury on Franson’s part, causing him to miss most of training camp, Poile’s dream was cut short and the new lineup never took shape. This would have been a first NHL history.
Jump back to this coming season and Poile has his chance to make his dream of a homegrown lineup come true. Who are these new guys most likely to make up Poile’s dream? That would be Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi and Teemu Laakso. Now why are these guys so significant?
Teemu Laakso may have been the only guy of these four to see NHL action, but Ekholm has been tearing up the ice in Sweden, playing for their profession team. He scored 33 points in 55 games (and the Swedish profession league is the second best in the world, just behind the NHL) and is itching to take his talent over to the NHL. Ryan Ellis, who is one of the most decorated junior hockey players in history, is ready to take professional ice by storm. Roman Josi is a little less known compared to his counterparts, but his records from his previous teams are impressive.
With tomorrow starting the NHLPA’s hearing against the RFA/UFA situation, it will be interesting to see what Poile does about this “dream” of his and if it will become reality.