David Poile outlining the versatility and offensive firepower the Nashville Predators now possess was great. Kyle Turris expressing his eagerness to skate in Preds Gold was exciting.
But there was also a theme woven through the comments from both general manager and forward that subtly may have won the day for Nashville.
Let's back up a bit first. On Sunday evening, when the Predators pulled off a three-team trade to acquire Turris from Colorado, they also announced they'd signed the talented center, whose current deal was set to expire after this season, to a six-year contract. Most analysts agree that Turris isn't even an option on the trade market if he's signs a deal with the Ottawa Senators prior to the 2017-18 season starting. On Monday, Poile said bluntly that the two other GMs involved in the trade knew it wasn't happening if a long-term deal couldn't be agreed upon between Turris and the Predators.
[Read More: Trade Analysis] [Read More: Trade, Contract Details]
A couple hours after the trade has been agreed to in principle, there it was. A six-year, $36 million contract that keeps Turris, along with top forwards Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson and Nick Bonino, in Music City through the 2020-21 season.
You want a "win-now" move from the current GM of the Year, a deal that can help Nashville win two more games this season and capture the Stanley Cup? Sure, you've got it. But more importantly, even if this isn't a season that ends with a championship for Nashville, they're set up with an elite nucleus that's poised to make another run the next year, the year after that and the year after that.
Video: Kyle Turris on trade to Predators, signing contract
Every team wants to be called a Stanley Cup favorite. A Stanley Cup favorite for four-plus years at a time? Well, that's all but unheard of in the NHL's salary cap era.
Which leads us back to Poile's and Turris's comments on Monday morning. Faced with making a life-changing decision in the span of an evening, Turris and his wife, Julie, pushed their chips to the middle of the table, betting on Nashville and the Predators.
"It's an interesting position to be in," Turris said via conference call. "My wife and I have talked about places that were possibilities, and we were really excited about the idea of Nashville. There's so many great things about the city: the people there, the neighborhoods, the school systems. Obviously, the franchise is in such a great place - having so much success last year and so much success to come. The people in it are great people. Right away, Nashville, we felt like would be a great fit. That part of it was an easy decision."
That's what signals the golden age - only a partial pun intended - has truly arrived in Smashville. The Predators upped their chances at making another run at the Cup considerably on Sunday, and while they technically did so via trade, for all intents and purposes, Turris, another top-end player in the NHL, chose to be in Nashville for the foreseeable future. Chose Nashville because of the city, chose Nashville for the culture, chose Smashville because of what he saw from Predators fans during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, chose the Predators because they have one of the best chances in the game to win a Stanley Cup very, very soon.
Video: GM: Turris gives Preds unprecedented forward talent
So add Turris to the list of Forsberg, Johansen and Arvidsson as highly skilled and coveted players who have signed on with the Predators for a minimum of six years within the past 18 months.
Want to build a winning franchise that has one goal in mind? This is how you do it.
One more thought from Turris to close:
"Nashville looks like it's going to be such a great fit and we are so excited about this opportunity to join the Preds for a six-year deal.
"I'm real excited to be a Nashville Predator. I'm looking forward to meeting all the guys and joining a great team and a great franchise. I watched the Final last year - the excitement in the city of Nashville and how good the team is. I'm very excited about this opportunity to come in and help out and be a part of something great here."