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Wrapping Up The Lou Lamoriello Talk

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

In a Maple Leafs dressing room too often stuffed with inflated egos, personal agendas and a greater concern for personal stats rather than the overall standings, the arrivals of Mike Babcock and, now, Lou Lamoriello, are a sobering reality check for all concerned.

In being introduced as the 16th general manager in Maple Leafs history on Thursday, Lamoriello was candidly clear about that as he stated his mandate in this, his new hockey home.

He doesn’t care about how many points you accrue. He couldn’t give a rat’s rump over how many individual awards are shoe-horned into your trophy case. If you aren’t contributing to the greater good of the team, there really isn’t any room for you.

As an analogy, Lamoriello, 72, compared the makeup of a hockey team to that of a successful symphony orchestra.

“It’s all about music,” he said. “If the music isn’t good, no matter how good each and every instrument is, everybody leaves.”

continued

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

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  Tags: lou+lamoriello

Another Strong Voice In Toronto

from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,

In a sentence nobody ever expected to read, Lou Lamoriello is now the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Like Dave Nonis before him, he says he has autonomy; like Nonis before him, the final vision and decisions rest with team president Brendan Shanahan. Lamiorello drafted Shanahan as an 18-year-old in 1987. This will be a different thing, for both of them.

“He’s much more nimble than people think. He’s much more flexible than people think,” Shanahan said. “I’m not afraid of very talented, strong-willed individuals. I actually think it’s an asset to have that in the organization. I think as long as the leadership is right, it can work.

“I just don’t see the logic in saying, just hire less competent people because they’re more likely to get along. I want winners. Winners know how to adapt to win. Will it be a challenge? Yeah, sure. It’s a challenge to have a great hockey team. It’s not easy to have a team full of superstars.”

Shanahan was criticized by some for moving too slowly; maybe now he will be criticized for doing too much. But he has assembled a fascinating array of strong voices for the Leafs, and it’s up to him to manage them.

read on

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Another Big Change In Toronto

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

If you are going to sweep out the country-club atmosphere, as Shanahan and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiweke promised, along with a lot of their predecessors, then there are no better people to do it than Lamoriello and Babcock. Both have definitive Type A personalities, both are demanding taskmasters and brook no nonsense.

When Lamoriello was asked about potential changes, he said change will come only if he decides it’s necessary after examining the organization. Then he said this: “The one thing that fundamentally will not change … is the word accountability.”

That was followed by something anyone who ever played for the Devils during Lamoriello’s 28 years that saw 21 playoff appearances, five conference championships and three Stanley Cups had heard many times. The kind of player he wants are those “willing to give up their own identity for that logo and never [mix] what’s on the back of the jersey for what’s on the front.”

Lamoriello, 72, also represents the missing piece of the picture Shanahan has been painting since he took the first year of his tenure to sit back and study this dysfunctional franchise. He is as old school as it gets, demanding shirts and ties at all times of team employees, but he is also one of the most respected men in the NHL. A long list of hockey people cite him as their primary mentor, from Shanahan to former Leafs GM Brian Burke and former Leafs head coach Ron Wilson, who both played for him at Providence College. There is no one in the NHL from commissioner Gary Bettman down who dares not to take Lamoriello’s calls.

more

added 5:39pm, from Chris Stevenson at NHL.com,

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The Final Years Of Lou Lamoriello In New Jersey

from Rich Chere of NJ.com,

Lamoriello should be applauded for what he did in his 28 years with the Devils, including five trips to the Stanley Cup Final, but he paved his own way out the door once ownership changed.

Here's why:

1. He stonewalled upper management's marketing attempts

As long as he was winning Stanley Cups and has past owners' support, Lamoriello was allowed to refuse attempts to market the team through use of players, fan events and alternate jerseys. However, once the team became an also-ran four out of the last five seasons and dollars-conscious owners moved in, he was a roadblock.

Ownership tried to ease Lamoriello into the modern world, but he fought it and continued to keep practices closed, argued against marketing ideas and even handcuffed the organization's own website from covering the team more extensively.

2. Stumbled as a general manager

Age wasn't the reason Lamoriello was nudged out as GM. It was because he seemed to lose his touch. His recent track record of free agent signings was not good, signing several players for more than they were worth. He also created roster situations that hamstrung coaches like John MacLean.

more

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Will Any NHL Coach Understand Alexander Semin’s Game?

via Shannon Valerio of Hockey VIPs,

Alexander Semin will not be a free agent much longer, according to his agent Mark Gandler.

“We have offers,” he said in an interview with Sovsport.ru. “We are reviewing them, but have not yet made a decision.”

While he did not give any hints as to where those offers might be, he confirmed Semin is only considering options in the NHL and is not interested in returning to Russia any time soon.

“Sasha Semin is 31 years old. He still has a number of years ahead of him,” Gandler said when asked about the likes of Alexei Yashin and Ilya Bryzgalov whose buyouts essentially ended their NHL careers.

“[Semin’s] career can only go up. He is still young. His buyout was under unique circumstances and the (Hurricanes) coach did not understand Sasha’s game.”

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  Tags: alexander+semin

Live Stream- Lou Lamoriello Introduced As GM Of The Toronto Maple Leafs

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 2:00pm ET, watch it below....

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Agreement Reached With The Arizona Coyotes And The City Of Glendale

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes and the City of Glendale announced today that the two parties have agreed on a resolution to their ongoing legal dispute. The City of Glendale will release details of the proposed amendments to the existing arena management agreement this morning on the city’s website, http://www.glendaleaz.com/. The Glendale City Council will vote on the amendments to the agreement on Friday, July 24 at Glendale City Hall. Details of that city council meeting are also posted on the city website.

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Afternoon Line- Craig Morgan On Coyotes/Glendale

added 12:45pm, via Morgan tweets,

If Council approves amendments, city & team will reach settlement that will keep Coyotes at Gila River Arena for at least next 2 seasons.

Per terms of deal, Coyotes would collect all hockey-related revenue that previously went to COG (naming rights, tix surcharges, parking rev)

City would pay $6.5M a year to Coyotes to manage arena. Out-clause that was part of the original 15-year, $225M agreement would be removed.

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Among the East’s ‘Also-Rans’: Have the Panthers improved?

SI's Allan Muir looks at the Eastern Conference's "also-ran" (i.e. non-playoff) teams, determining whether their summertime moves have improved the respective 8 non-playoff finishers or whether the teams are just treading water, and he discusses a team not talked about very much in the Florida Panthers:

Florida Panthers (91 points, 10th)

You have to give them credit. The Panthers proved to be surprisingly competitive last season, far exceeding expectations for a roster that relied so heavily on youth and fading glory. They’ll go with a similar formula next fall, hoping that youngsters such as Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau continue to progress and veterans like Jaromir Jagr have more than fumes in the tank.

The team’s one major move of the summer saw it ship out one inconsistent forward in Jimmy Hayes for another in Reilly Smith. The former Bruin is the more established of the two with 33 goals and 91 points during the past two seasons, and he fills a need at right wing created by the buyout of Brad Boyes. As far as upgrades go, it’s not going to get Florida over the hump. Unless GM Dale Tallon has something else up his sleeve, it looks like the Panthers are hoping for significant internal growth. That should keep them in the hunt, but they’ll need to catch a few breaks to make the cut.

Muir continues...

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  Tags: aaron+ekblad, dale+tallon, florida+panthers, jaromir+jagr, jimmy+hayes, jonathan+huberdeau, reilly+smith

Babcock on Lamoriello: ‘This was a home run for Mike Babcock’

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock spoke with NHL.com's Dan Rosen regarding the Leafs' hiring of Lou Lamoriello as their general manager:

"Lou has been about winning," Babcock told NHL.com in a phone interview Thursday. "Lou is a guy who has pushed himself to get better every single day. I think a senior management guy joining our team, understanding what the vision and what the plan is, is a home run for all of us. Everyone concerns themselves with the team on the ice; the team off the ice precedes the team on the ice. I think we're set up very good."

Babcock said Lamoriello's experience and history of winning, including three Stanley Cup championships with the Devils (1995, 2000, 2003), will be especially important for Maple Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas, director of player personnel Mark Hunter and assistant to the general manager Brandon Pridham.

Babcock said he has been impressed with Dubas, Hunter and Pridham since he was hired on May 20, but adding Lamoriello will give those young executives a sounding board.

"To bring in a guy like Lou, that gives those guys someone to talk to, someone to mentor them, someone to ask, 'Hey Lou, you've been through this 100 times, what do you think?'" Babcock said. "You have an experienced guy who is still passionate and still fired up about it and still wants to work. That's Lou. He loves hockey."

Babcock said he first met Lamoriello during the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, when he was coaching the Anaheim Ducks against the Devils. New Jersey won the series in seven games.

In the 12 years he's known Lamoriello, Babcock said every time he has spoken to him he has come away impressed. Babcock said he has gotten only positive reviews from the people who have worked for Lamoriello, including a recent review from former Devils coach Peter DeBoer.

"Every coach I've ever talked to about Lou, and most of them have been fired by him, love him," Babcock said. "I talked to Pete DeBoer the other day about him. He raves about him. Lou has got a way of doing things, but Lou is a smart, smart guy and just like all of us who are in the pursuit of knowledge and the pursuit of winning, we're sure willing to adjust to somebody who has a better idea. This was a home run for Mike Babcock."

Rosen continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kyle+dubas, lou+lamoriello, mark+hunter, mike+babcock, toronto+maple+leafs

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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