David Poile admits he “beamed with pride” watching his former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz raise the Stanley Cup Thursday night after guiding the Washington Capitals to the first championship in franchise history.
Poile, the well-respected general manager of the Predators, further burnished his reputation as a classy individual by penning an open letter to Trotz, who coached Nashville for 16 seasons before being fired and moving on to Washington four years ago.
In the letter, published on the Predators web site and that of nhl.com, Poile also praised assistant coaches Mitch Korn and Lane Lambert — both of whom left to work with Trotz in Washington after many years of success with the Predators.
“Barry, Lane and Mitch were already champions in life,” wrote Poile. “Now, the rest of the world will know them as champions of our game.
“They will always have a special place in Predators lore.”
Ironically, the Preds nearly captured the Cup themselves last spring with Trotz’s replacement behind the bench, Peter Laviolette, leading the way. The Predators eventually lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. And twelve months later, Trotz — who had never advanced past the second round of the playoffs in his 20-year NHL coaching career — won the Cup with the Capitals.
“The hockey gods got it right (Thursday) night.”