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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.

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

The hiring of Lamoriello is the last big piece for Shanahan's off-ice team. With a group of young executives - many working in the NHL for the first time - Shanahan said Lamoriello's experience filled a big need.

The two had stayed in touch over the years, and as Shanahan went from a Hall of Fame player to aspiring executive, he came to realize how much he was using the lessons he had learned from Lamoriello.

"You don't even realize sometimes when you're a kid, when you're a young person, the impression that someone is leaving on you," Shanahan said. "Whoever that person is, if they're an important person in your life, sometimes you recognize that 10, 20 years later that you are valuing certain things and you're recognizing the value in things from that person.

"Some of the things I've brought to Toronto in my management style, I wouldn't say it completely mirrors Lou's; there are other people who have had an influence on me as well. (But) there are certain things like making announcements without people having a heads up that they're coming that I can say I probably stole from Lou."

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lou+lamoriello

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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