A year ago when the NHL's trade deadline passed, Nashville Predators general manager David Poile was treated like a triumphant hero, the winner of the league's annual sweepstakes.
He acquired forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad. Earlier, he had traded for defenseman Hal Gill and persuaded forward Alex Radulov to return from Russia.
This year, while Poile felt he made a good hockey trade that will bolster the team's future, he ended up in the unenviable position of being on the defensive, having to explain why one of the club's most established players had asked to be traded.
What a difference, as they say, a year makes.
The player in question was right wing Martin Erat, 31, who ranks second all-time in franchise history in games, goals, assists and points. Erat, a player the Predators had drafted in the seventh round in 1999 and developed, had a no-movement clause in his contract which, when he signed it in 2008, was for seven years and 31.5 million and ...