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The Nashville Predators have always been one of the better-run teams in the NHL, but the team was clearly "small market" and lost some of their best talent year after year to free agency.
Still, GM David Poile always brought in enough lower-priced talent to keep his club in contention for the coming season.
This year, Nashville is facing the possible loss of their best two defensemen—Ryan Suter and Shea Weber—neither of whom has a long-term deal in place.
Instead of being sellers at the trade deadline, the Preds became buyers.
Poile sent a message to Suter and Weber that if they want to win a Stanley Cup, they have just as good a chance of getting one in the Music City as they do anywhere else in the league.
The Preds brought in an experienced defenseman in Hal Gill who already has a Stanley Cup ring just before the trade deadline and, on deadline day, added valuable role players like Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad, who can be difference makers in the playoffs.
The Preds finished fourth in the West and will face the Detroit Red Wings in the first round, although this time, it will be Nashville that has the home-ice advantage.
We will soon see if Poile's spending pays off on the ice and if it helps the Preds re-sign Suter and Weber to long-term deals.