— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 23, 2015
The Leafs love a good press conference, but unfortunately this one didn’t have angry Buffalo reporters or Dave Shoalts forcing awkward jokes on us all. It was just Brendan Shanahan and his Grandpa having a chat for half an hour. While it didn’t live up to the excitement of the Babcock unveiling, here are a few snippets from Uncle Lou…
Lamoriello on the Leafs
Front Office being hired in advance of him:
“Extremely comfortable. That’s what’s nice. I’m coming in as if they’re my
That’s pretty much the only answer he can give here and as I touched on earlier the Hockey Operations Department is vacancy free now. That being said, I’m sure there are bound to be a lot of people who will be under the microscope this season or Lou could possibly add some additional staff to support those already in place.
Brendan Shanahan on
learning from Lou:
“I think having Lou in the
organization is going to give him an opportunity to mentor us all.”
There is little doubt in my mind that this was one of the driving factors for Shanahan in making this move. Lamoriello might no longer be the most effective GM when it comes to assessing which players to go after, but he knows the network of GMs, agents, and NHL personnel better than anyone in the rest of the league. For a group of outsiders trying to turn a team around it’s likely Lou will open a lot of doors, establish a lot of credibility, and fill in a lot of blanks that are less than obvious to those of us following along at home.
Lou on Kyle Dubas
“He has tremendous ability. If he’s not going to be GM here ,I’m not going to be
here forever, it’s his his fault.”
This is high praise, and seems like it might include some foreshadowing from Shanahan to Lou that Lou wasn’t meant to let slip, being as he stumbled through his answer. With Lamoriello being on a three year deal that seems like Dubas is about to get College degree in Lou’s loopholes.
Lamoriello on the decision making process:
“If you know anything about me, we’ll make the decisions.”
Yes, he did say “we.” How much he meant that is up for debate, but really it’s the only answer he could’ve given that wasn’t going to result in about a thousand follow up questions and being the only thing we’d hear about all summer. The Leafs are heavily invested in the committee approach, and Lou wasn’t gonna torch that while the ink on the contract is still wet.
Of course, he did say this later…
Lamoriello says he has full autonomy.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) July 23, 2015
Lamoriello’s Philosophy on
“Trying to create environment where players will give up their own identity for
the team’s identity”
This has been uttered by every incoming Coach, GM, President, CEO since the beginning of time, but I find it interesting because there aren’t really any standout personalities on the Leafs at the moment. Anyway, he checked this cliche off the list so good for him.
Finally, it was a press conference. It’s a chance to say the right things in front of a bunch of reporters with pre-written stories and fans wanting to believe that the team isn’t going to implode tomorrow. Shanahan and Lamoriello didn’t give us anything to worry about and didn’t promise us the moon. The real test is what happens next when there are still so many things wrong with the Leafs.