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Poile began his career in the NHL as an Administrative Assistant with the then expansion Atlanta Flames in 1972 shortly after graduating from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. At Northeastern, Poile was a successful hockey player, and still holds the record for most career hat tricks with 11. Five years after joining the Flames organization he was named as the assistant general manager.
Poile left the Flames to become the Vice President and General Manager of the Washington Capitals. He served in that capacity for fifteen years. During his time in Washington he was quite successful and the Capitals amassed a 594-454-124 record under his control.
After working in Washington, Poile took the position with the then expansion Nashville Predators. He has proven to make many shrewd moves and has created a competitive team over the last 2 seasons with a limited budget.