Shock, awe, the Leafs name Lou Lamoriello GM

This management group has been full of surprises, but I think they might have just dropped the biggest one on us yet. Lou Lamoriello has stepped down as the Devils’ president after nearly three decades and joined the Maple Leafs as their new general manager. [He’d recently moved on from the GM chair in Jersey to make way for Ray Shero]

Uhh, whoa..

It’s difficult to process this right now because it’s so out of left field – actually, scratch that, out of the stadium entirely. Lamoriello has been with New Jersey in a president and general manager capacity since 1987. Half the writers on this site weren’t even born then. 

We’ll obviously have much more on this news as the day unfolds, but right now my first thought is that Shanahan and Lamoriello must have a good relationship. Shanahan started and finished his career in New Jersey, so no doubt he and Lamoriello are well-known to each other. Also with the former’s history as a league official with the Department of Player Safety and Lamoriello being essentially the Godfather of the NHL general manager world, there’s another link. Secondly, this likely falls into a plan for the Leafs to groom Kyle Dubas to inherit the full-time gig in a couple years, since at 72-years-old, Lamoriello probably isn’t their longterm guy.

Something else to note is that this is another instance where the Leafs broke the news themselves and not one reporter had a beat on it. For a move of this magnitude, that seems almost unheard of. 

Perhaps the best thing about Lamoriello’s hire is the Leafs now basically have a license to do whatever they want: circumvent the cap, nudge players into retirement, give up draft picks and take them back, whatever. We are truly blessed. 

Welcome, Lou.

  • Benjamin

    Dubas gets to learn from Lou. My despair for the future has formally graduated to skepticism. If we can move Bozak and Lupul for anything positive, I will admit to faint glimmers of hope.

  • silentbob

    Wow, go big or go home I guess.

    My ONLY concern (and its a small once since I’m sure Shanahan made sure Lou was on board before hiring him) is that the Devils are a team that has been in need of a rebuild for a while now, and they’ve resisted. If that resistence came from Lou…….

    But like I said thats a very small concern at this point so…WOOHOO

    Is that great European scout the Devils have coming with him?

  • RedMan

    *Spoken in Godfather voice*

    “Listen, you’re going to take Bozak for a 2nd overall pick. If you don’t accept the deal, I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.”

  • Jeremy Ian

    This is interesting….

    If the Devils didn’t have such a lame last few years, they surely would be tagged as one of the success stories in the last 20 years. It’s a team that could easily be a bust. I live in NJ, so go to the Prudential Center to see the Leafs play and it’s always half full of NY-area Leaf fans. Otherwise, it’s pretty ghostly. LL has figured out how to make it work nonetheless.

    The Leafs are almost the opposite. A monopoly team in a huge area with devoted fans and deep pockets. Almost cursed by being blessed. Any smart exec can figure out that difference.

    I guess making some of the harder contractual moves in the coming few years means Dubas does need a mentor.

    EDIT: The more I think about this, the more it may be a move aimed at handling the media. Last year was such a fiasco, Feschuk chasing players around the locker room, salutegate. Nonis let it turn into a moshpit, and to have the president dragged into this is not a good use of his time. So, maybe LL can help manage some of the reporters who confuse the news with being the news.

  • alexsteen

    I don’t get it. I REALLY don’t get it. As far as I’m concerned the game has passed him by in the salary cap world. His cap management has been awful. Instead of launching a badly needed rebuild he keeps signing washed-up 34-year-olds. The Devils are in perhaps the worst position of all 30 teams right now. I’m sure Shanahan made sure he was on board, but it feels like a square peg in a round hole.

  • alexsteen

    So Dubas/Hunter and team get to learn from one of the most respected and well networked hockey execs out there. This is good news. Lou won’t be here forever but his legacy and knowledge could be. Crazy summer.