The Nashville Predators are four points out of a wild card spot as of Thursday afternoon and are under some pressure after losing their third straight in front of the gigantic Cotton Bowl Stadium crowd during the 2020 Winter Classic on Tuesday.
Despite barely holding on to their spot in the standings, head coach Peter Laviolette can breathe easy with the backing of his general manager.
"Right now, that is not in my game plan," Predators GM David Poile said during a local radio interview, "I met with [Laviolette] this morning. We had a long talk about lots of different situations going forward. I'm not contemplating making any coaching change at this time."
Nashville have gone 4-5-1 through their last 10 games — the sky isn’t completely falling for the championship-hopeful team.
"We've really got some soul searching to do right now," Poile said. "I have to do some real thinking about where we're going for the rest of this year. I think there's a lot of people that I want to talk to about different things. Right now, we're not in the playoffs and I'm open for business, if you will.”
With the trade deadline nearing next month and the general manager refusing to lay the blame on his head coach, the Predators could possibly be big players as transaction season heats up.
It all depends whether the team is in a position to be buyers or sellers before Feb. 24.
"I think the standings are so close right now that when things get closer to the trade deadline, you could possibly see more action,” Poile said. “I guess the point I'm saying today is, sitting here outside of the playoffs, we have for the last several years been buyers at the trading deadline. If we don't improve here shortly, we might be a seller for the first time in a number of years.
“I'm hoping that's not the case, but as I said, I am open for business and I'm certainly going to be willing to listen to different teams' thought processes on any of our players at this point."
There is no doubt that the next few weeks will be interesting in Nashville. With key games coming up against the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Washington Capitals within their next 10 games, the Preds will have to rise to the occasion if they want to be buyers once again.
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