McKenzie: Enormous drive for Poile to win Cup

The Nashville Predators will certainly be a team to watch in the coming weeks when it comes to a potential trade deadline acquisition.

Bob McKenzie had a Friday morning radio hit on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290.

While naturally being curious as to potential trade deadline plans for the hometown Jets, the 1290 hosts wondered about what the rival Predators might be up to in that vein.

“I think you could perhaps make the case that the Predators, more so than the Jets, need to make a big splash and bring in a big name to help augment their roster in what looks like an inevitable second-round matchup again.”

“Yeah, I haven’t got any specifics yet, but I think you’re right, I think in terms of the mindset,” said McKenzie. “Because Nashville is even further down the road than Winnipeg. Nashville has been doing this for a year or two or three longer than the Jets. They got to the Stanley Cup Final - that whets their appetite even more to get back there.

“This is what keeps David Poile up at night. David Poile, I think he’s the most experienced general manager - certainly the longest tenure with one team now that Lou Lamoriello has bounced around a little bit. But Lou and David are guys that have been around seemingly forever, relative to all of the other general managers in the National Hockey League.

“I know David real well, and I think the only reason David is still around is because he won’t retire until he wins a Stanley Cup. That’s what drives him, and as I said, that’s the thing that keeps him up at night, thinking, ‘How can I do this.’

“And because Nashville got so close against Pittsburgh a couple of years ago there… and you look at the way their team is constructed, and it’s constructed well. They’ve got an opportunity here to do things not just this year. So it’s not so completely crazy out of your mind, ‘Sacrifice all elements of the future, do it for this year,’ but there’s an enormous drive - I don’t want to say pressure, because it’s all self-imposed - I think there’s an enormous drive on the part of David Poile to do everything he possibly can to give this team a shot to win, and that moment is now.

“So I think you’re right, they are a little further advanced down the road in terms of their evolutionary scale of how they built their team and how many years their window will be open.

“The Jets are just kind of getting going on that journey, and Nashville is a little bit ahead of them in terms of having been to the Final already.”

The Predators and Jets are tied for first in the Central Division with 64 points, although the Jets have four games in hand.