NASHVILLE -- The one and only general manager in Nashville Predators history professed his love for the game and the city where he set the record for most wins.
The Predators held a ceremony before their game against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday to honor David Poile for becoming the winningest general manager in NHL history.
Poile surpassed Glen Sather with 1,320 wins as a general manager with a 4-2 Predators win against the Edmonton Oilers on March 1. He had 594 wins with the Capitals from 1982-1997 and has 729 wins with the Predators for a total of 1,323 wins.
"It says a lot about his longevity and his passion for the game, the way he wants to build his teams and how successful they are long-term instead of looking at it short-term," former Predators captain and current New Jersey Devils assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald said. "Short-term goals for long-term success, and he's done that here."
Poile was joined on the ice for the pregame ceremony by his wife Elizabeth, son Brian, daughter Lauren and their families.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman presented Poile with framed game sheets and pucks commemorating his first NHL win (with the Washington Capitals) and his 1,320th NHL win.
"I don't think anybody could have imagined that in a profession that has so much turnover that he could've amassed a 36-year manager career, set the record for the most wins, and done it with only two teams and only five coaches," Bettman said. "That is remarkable."
Former Washington defenseman Rod Langway presented Poile with a Capitals jersey with the number 594 on it, the number of wins he had as their general manager.
Nashville captain Roman Josi presented Poile with a watch on behalf of Predators players, and Predators chairman and governor Tom Cigarran presented him with a family vacation and the creation of a David Poile youth hockey scholarship.
"To win in this game, everyone has to be on the same page," Poile said. "And I am proud that I am being honored tonight ... but it really is a team award. Without everybody that has helped me along the way, this doesn't happen. So, on behalf of every coach that has worked for me, every player that has played for me, the office staff, the scouts, my assistant manager Paul Fenton, everybody, it's been an unbelieveable ride. It is an honor to be general manager of the Nashville Predators.
"Thank you, Nashville, for everything."