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McKenzie: Poile in Minnesota an intriguing idea

Bob McKenzie
4/16/2009 4:01:59 PM
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The dust hasn't even settled yet on Doug Risebrough's dismissal as GM of the Minnesota Wild, and I am sure there are myriad considerations for the naming of his replacement, but the instant analysis (just add water and stir) is that David Poile makes a lot of sense.

Poile, of course, is gainfully employed by the Nashville Predators as their GM and the man has done a wonderful job of keeping the Predators competitive through a lot of really difficult times, on and off the ice.

The obvious connection for Poile is that Minnesota's relatively new owner, Craig Leipold, was the man who originally owned the Preds and hired Poile as Nashville's GM from Day One of the franchise. They had a strong working relationship through those many years.

Perhaps Poile would like the opportunity to be reunited with Leipold and work for a franchise where the budgets aren't as tight and the hockey market is much more traditional. Then again, maybe not.

You would have to think if anyone could finesse a move like this with Nashville's current ownership it could be former Predators' owner Leipold. And it's not as if the cupboard is bare in Nashville. Poile has a strong support staff led by assistant GM Paul Fenton, who could potentially move in seamlessly to the Preds' GM chair if there's any merit to Poile leaving for Minnesota.

Or perhaps we're off base here and it's going to be a wide-open affair where everyone, from Fenton in Nashville to you name them, applies for the vacancy in Minnesota.

Already, the rumors are running rampant on that front.

Some are wondering if Minnesota-based player agent Neil Sheehy might have a connection with former Harvard teammate Phil Falcone, a billionaire who also happens to be a minority owner of the Wild, that could lead to Sheehy perhaps working the other side of the street. Still others believe the answer lies within the Wild's own office, that acting GM Tom Lynn, who was Risebrough's assistant, is a natural to take over.

We'll find out soon enough, but as speculative theories go, unless the facts get in the way, the Poile-to-Minny scenario is tidy and intriguing, if nothing else.

Bob McKenzie

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