Predators General Manager David Poile comments on the recent signing of Martin Gelinas, in addition to the state of the team with six weeks remaining until training camp.
What role do you expect Martin Gelinas to play on the team in 07-08?
“Martin Gelinas is a veteran player who has played in the league for 18 years, winning the Stanley Cup once and going to the finals three other times. He adds leadership to a very young team. I liken the signing to what we have done on defense. We lost Kimmo Timonen, so we brought in Greg de Vries, a veteran defenseman who will complement a very young defense. The fact that he has won a Stanley Cup is also very important to the belief system of the young players. I think the same goes for Gelinas – a forward who can play the third or fourth line, but has the ability to play on the top two lines because he still has speed and a scoring touch. I think he is going to be a very important signing for our hockey club this year.”What type of leadership qualities does Gelinas bring to this young team?
“I don’t think you last in the NHL for 18 years unless you are a good pro, and I have heard nothing but good things about Gelinas, not only on the ice, but equally as a person off it. He is married, has three kids, and I think he brings a lot of stability to a young team like the Predators.”
How is the roster shaping up with about six weeks until the start of training camp?
|Martin Gelinas notched 41 points (14g-30a) in 82 games for the Florida Panthers last season. He brings 1,216 career regular season NHL games to a young Nashville Predators squad. |
“I’d say as far as signings go, we are done. In my mind, I think we legitimately have eight NHL defensemen and 14 NHL forwards. We have as good of depth and competitive situations heading into training camp as ever. My job as a general manager is to do that so no one takes their job for granted. I think as far as defensive pairings and line combinations go, with the amount of changes we’ve had in the off season, a lot of roles are up for grabs because of the amount of depth we have going into training camp.”With the changes in place, do you have a sense of what you would like to see as far as line combinations?
“Shortly after the season ended and we knew we weren’t going to be re-signing Hartnell, Forsberg or Kariya, we thought we had two lines, which would be any combination of Arnott, Legwand, Sullivan, Erat, Dumont and Radulov. But now in the off season with the signings of Ortmeyer, Bonk, and now Gelinas, I think it gives the coaches a lot more flexibility to maybe have three scoring lines, depending on if they want to put all the offensive players together or balance the lines more evenly. So, competition, good play, bad play and injuries give the coaches a number of possibilities they can experiment with or try depending on who the opponent might be.”