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Poile Addresses Preds Roster Needs with Acquisitions of Boyle, McLeod

Nashville GM Makes Deals for Players Who Add Size, Depth, Leadership to Club

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

GM Poile on Boyle, McLeod Trades

GM Poile explains acquisition of Boyle, McLeod

Predators General Manager David Poile explains why he traded for veteran forwards Brian Boyle and Cody McLeod

  • 15:26 •

The phone lines were hot on Wednesday morning in Nashville, and David Poile had a pair of forwards added to his roster by the time he hung up.

Brian Boyle and Cody McLeod are the newest members of the Predators, acquired in separate deals with the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, respectively. Nashville's GM exchanged a second-round selection in the 2019 NHL Draft with the Devils and a seventh-round pick in 2020 with the Rangers to complete the transactions.

What he got in return is depth, size and leadership to his lineup with 27 games to play in the regular season, attributes that will undoubtedly come in handy down the stretch run and into the playoffs.

Poile also announced the team will be without rugged winger Zac Rinaldo for the remainder of the season due to shoulder surgery, and with a timetable unknown on Austin Watson as he continues through the NHL's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, there was a need to bulk back up at the forward position.

The first deal of the day was made to bring Boyle on board, a 13-year NHL veteran with loads of Stanley Cup Playoff experience - 111 games to be exact.

"Brian Boyle, in our opinion, checks off a lot of the boxes of what this team needs right now," Poile said during a press conference following the trades. "He's versatile, he can play the wing, he plays center and he has the size and the physicality in his game that we're looking for down the stretch in the playoffs. He's used to killing penalties, and he's been a net-front presence on the power play, hopefully something that will help benefit our power play.

"He provides leadership to our group… and he's already been to two Stanley Cup Finals and has played the third-most playoff games in the League over the last five seasons."

Then there's McLeod, a player who went to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final with the Predators and skated in 54 games in a Nashville uniform from 2016 through 2018 of last season before the club lost him on waivers to the Rangers.

The Predators never wanted that to happen in the first place, and with McLeod back in the fold once more, the GM couldn't be happier.

"We have dearly missed him in our locker room since we lost him to waivers last year," Poile said of McLeod. "I won't speak for our players, but I'm sure when you ask them, they're going to be super excited to have Cody back. It's hard sometimes to place an exact value on intangibles that a player like Cody brings. He's so vocal, his presence in the locker room is unbelievable, and he's an experienced pro who steps up and does whatever he's asked to do. I think this will be a very popular add to our team, especially for our players."

The word "size" was thrown around a number of times during Poile's availability on Wednesday as he stated a belief that his club needed to get bigger. Many point to the seven-game series with the Winnipeg Jets in the 2018 postseason, a team that was undeniably larger than Nashville's roster, as the main reason for the size boost.

While Poile was quick to caution that a rematch with Winnipeg is not guaranteed this time around, the potential does exist to see the Jets again, and Wednesday's moves could play a role in that potential meeting once more.

"We wanted to have more size in our lineup, especially with losing Austin Watson, and now Zac Rinaldo for the rest of the season, so I think we crossed off those needs," Poile said. "Cody McLeod has that physical size, and Brian Boyle with that physical size, but Boyle is also a player that can be used in a lot of different areas for our club."

With 19 days remaining until the Trade Deadline, there is still plenty of time for Poile to assess his group over the next couple of weeks, still chances to work the phone lines to see what else may still be out there.

And while the GM likes what he sees on his roster to this point, there still may be another piece waiting to be called upon.

"I'm happy with our numbers, and I'm happy with our depth at each position," Poile said. "Having said that, we'll continue to make phone calls, listen, pay attention and see if we can improve our team. But right now, I'm pretty happy with where we are, and if this is what we end up with, I'm good with entering in the playoffs with this roster.

"If we can improve our club, we're going to do that. I'm comfortable with what we have in our depth and filling the holes I thought we had, but if we can improve our team in the next three weeks, we will certainly do that."

Video: GM Poile explains acquisition of Boyle, McLeod

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