David Poile will retire as president of hockey operations and general manager of the Nashville Predators on June 30, the team announced Sunday. Former Predators coach Barry Trotz will succeed Poile as GM beginning July 1.
“This is a decision that is best for me personally and best for the Nashville Predators,” Poile said. “For the Predators, I believe it is time for a new voice and a new direction. I am proud of the foundation we have put in place in our hockey operations, investing in and improving every area of the department. This is the right time for someone else to move our franchise forward.”
Poile will remain with Nashville in an advisory role, serving the team’s ownership, its business operations leadership group and the hockey operations department.
The longest-tenured GM in NHL history, Poile is in his 41st consecutive year in the NHL, including the past 26 with the Predators. Nashville hired him as their first general manager on July 9, 1997, more than a year before it began play as an expansion team in 1998-99. Prior to that, Poile spent 15 seasons as the Washington Capitals’ GM (1982-1997).
“I am incredibly proud of everything the Predators organization has accomplished in my time here — all the wins, our appearance in the  Stanley Cup Final and winning the [2017-18] Presidents’ Trophy, but I am most proud of helping develop SMASHVILLE into one of the best hockey markets in the National Hockey League,” Poile said. “And, while I will always be fiercely proud of those accomplishments, I will remain committed in my new role to help us achieve our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”
Poile became the first GM in League history to reach 3,000 regular-season games when the Predators hosted the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 22, 2022. The 73-year-old then became the first GM to reach 1,500 NHL wins when Nashville defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in a shootout on Nov. 22.
Previously, Poile surpassed Glen Sather as the winningest GM in NHL history when he won his 1,320th game on March 1, 2018, against the Edmonton Oilers. He is the only general manager in League history to lead two different teams for more than 1,000 games and 500 victories.
Poile followed in the footsteps of his father Bud Poile, who was the first GM of the expansion Philadelphia Flyers in 1967 and the expansion Vancouver Canucks in 1970. Bud was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1990.
David joined the expansion Atlanta Flames as an administrative assistant under GM Cliff Fletcher in 1972, shortly after he graduated from Northeastern University, where he played for three seasons as a forward. That led to him being named the Flames assistant GM five years later before he earned his first GM job with the Capitals in 1982.
Poile received the Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States in 2001, was named the NHL General Manager of the Year in 2017 after the Predators advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in their history, and was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.
“It’s pretty easy getting up every day knowing I’ve got a full slate,” Poile said in October. “That just comes from the love of the game. My wife has said, when we first started dating at age 13 or 14, she asked me what I wanted to be and I told her a general manager. That’s all I ever wanted. I got the job I wanted, the only job I wanted for 40 years.”
This will be Trotz’s first time as a GM. He will serve as an advisor before stepping fully into the role.
Poile hired Trotz as Nashville’s first coach Aug. 6, 1997. Trotz was 557-479-100 with 60 ties in 15 seasons with the Predators and guided them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs seven times.
“My heart has been in Nashville since that first season in 1998-99,” Trotz said. “I believe our team and our fanbase has developed a relationship that is very unique in sports today, and I am excited to be returning home to the organization and the city where I held my first head coaching job in the NHL. I can’t thank David enough, not only for turning over the job to me, but for teaching me so much over the past 40 years. I believe I am prepared to succeed as an NHL general manager, and I have David to thank for that. I will work hard as a member of David’s team for the next four months, and when I become GM on July 1, I pledge to do everything I can in leading our franchise to its first-ever Stanley Cup.”
After being fired by the Predators following the 2013-14 seasons, Trotz coached the Capitals for four seasons, going 205-89-34 and leading them to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2018.
After being unable to agree on a new contract with Washington, Trotz resigned on June 18, 2018, and was hired by the New York Islanders three days later. Trotz went 152-102-34 in four seasons with the Islanders, guiding them to the 2020 Eastern Conference Final and 2021 Stanley Cup Semifinals before losing to eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in each series.
The 60-year-old was fired by the Islanders after they failed to qualify for the playoffs last season and has been out of coaching this season.
“As I prepare to move on from my day-to-day role with the Predators, I can’t think of a better choice to lead us in the future than Barry Trotz,” Poile said. “We started working together 40 years ago, and I believe he has prepared himself to become one of the league’s great general managers. I don’t know if anyone in the game today is more respected than Barry, and we are thrilled he has elected to become our next GM. I will help him in any way that I can, happily cheering him on as he drives our club toward the Stanley Cup.”