Poile Weber

Nashville Predators legends David Poile and Shea Weber are officially Hall of Famers.

Named to the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024 on Tuesday, Nashville’s former general manager and former captain will join inductees Peter Forsberg (2014) and Paul Kariya (2017) as the third and fourth members of the Predators organization to be inducted into the prestigious hall.

Speaking to the media following Tuesday’s announcement, the pair of inductees struggled to find the right words for the defining moment.

“I'm still at a loss for words,” Weber said. “Still in shock and disbelief, and the people that helped me along the way, I still can’t thank them enough. I think everyone kind of hit on it, but it's tough to put into words. Growing up [you never imagine] making it in the NHL, let alone going into the Hall of Fame.… So, it's a pretty special moment that I didn't expect, and I'm honored beyond belief.”

“You never get into hockey thinking some day you’ll be in the Hall of Fame, you just love the game so much,” Poile said. “This is like the icing on the cake. I've loved the game, and every facet of it, and this is just a fantastic honor and recognition. I'm so happy for my family. My dad is in the Hall of Fame, and I wish I could have a little conversation with him today… But it’s a great day for the Poile family.”

The winningest and longest-tenured general manager in the history of the National Hockey League, Poile has been recognized numerous times throughout his career.

In 2001, he received the Lester Patrick Award and joined father, Bud, as one of six father-son duos to receive the prestigious hardware. A four time finalist, Poile won the NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award in 2017. A year later, he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Poile’s illustrious NHL career began in 1972 as an administrative assistant for the Atlanta Flames before being named assistant general manager five years later.

Poile would follow the Flames through a relocation to Calgary, before departing to serve as general manager for the Washington Capitals in 1982. Under Poile, the Capitals amassed a 594-454-124 record, earning one division title and 14 appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In 1997, Poile departed Washington to head up the NHL’s newest expansion team in Nashville, Tenn. Over his 25 seasons as Predators general manager, Poile turned the Predators into a perennially competitive hockey club and a decidedly non-traditional hockey market into one of the most envied and unique destinations in the hockey world.

Under Poile, the Predators captured a 939-718-(60)-178 record, the Presidents’ Trophy, a Western Conference championship and two Central Division championships.

Of course, the man who many credit with building a fiercely familial organization had his own family at top of mind when his induction was announced on Tuesday.

“When I got the call, the first thing that came to mind was my family, my wife, my two kids, their spouses and our grandkids,” Poile said. “And especially my wife, all the sacrifices that she made. I think everyone who’s in hockey knows that your family sometimes unfortunately takes a backseat to the time commitment that you put in. But my wife and my family knew how much I loved the game, and they were willing to go on this crazy ride with me for 50-plus years. And I think we all are very appreciative and very happy to be included in this recognition. And as I said earlier, my dad, who's a Hockey Hall of Famer - he was one of my mentors, for sure. I learned a lot about his life and the people in the game of hockey from my dad, and there are a lot of things that I try to emulate from him. He was a guy that said that the game was always bigger than any individual. And I tried to always remember that in my career.”

While Poile may have established the Predators identity, players like Weber helped carry it forward in the locker room and on the ice. Though Weber did serve as the Predators captain for six seasons, that much would have been true whether he wore the letter or not.

“Shea was definitely, in my mind, one of our greatest players,” Poile said. “And certainly along with our coach, Barry Trotz and a few other guys, but mainly Shea and maybe Pekka Rinne - those are the guys that defined Predators hockey, the Predators way and got us to be a competitive team coming out of that expansion situation. For me, Shea will always be a Pred and a guy that is so well respected by everybody, especially by the Nashville fans and his teammates… I couldn't be more proud to be joining with Shea Weber.”

The feeling was mutual for Weber.

“I’ve known David since I was drafted in Nashville, and I’ve always told him he only made one bad trade in his career,” Weber laughed. “But it’s an honor. He did so much for the game when I was in Nashville. He built our teams up and gave us a chance to win every year. It obviously stems before that, but having my relationship with him and everything we went through, it definitely means a lot.”

Weber’s playing career began in the Western Hockey League, where he helped his Kelowna Rockets to two WHL President’s Cups and one Memorial Cup.

Drafted 49th overall at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Weber would make his League debut with the Predators three years later.

In his 763 games and 11 seasons with Nashville, the defenseman recorded 443 points (166g-277a), the fifth most in franchise history. The blueliner additionally played the third-most games (763), scored the fourth-most goals and recorded the fifth-most assists in franchise history. His 166 career goals were the most by any Predators defenseman until 2023-24, when current captain Roman Josi finally broke the record. Weber continues to hold the Predators record for career power-play goals (80).

Off the ice, Weber’s impact and legacy of selflessness lives on with the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund, which the defenseman launched alongside teammate Pekka Rinne in 2013. To date, the fund has raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer research and inpatient care at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

A winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award, a three-time Norris Trophy finalist and a four-time NHL All-Star, Weber departed Nashville in 2016 via trade with the Montreal Canadiens. In 2020, Weber helped the Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 28 years.

Weber enjoyed a decorated career on the world stage as well, winning gold with Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, as well as the World Junior, World Championship and World Cup tournaments.

Poile and Weber will be officially inducted at the 2024 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on Monday, November 11, in Toronto, Ont.