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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,

So now after 28 years, Lou Lamoriello gets to reinvent himself in Toronto the way he never could have had the freedom to do in New Jersey.

Now, after decades through which loyalty to his people on his staff within his organization was both his most endearing quality and ultimately his greatest weakness, Lamoriello starts fresh, surrounded by new people with new ideas.

There was, these past couple of months have established, nothing left for Lamoriello in New Jersey other than to act as a hood ornament and ceremonial ribbon-cutter. With Ray Shero ensconced unambiguously as the Devils’ general manager and decider, the presidency of the Devils was going to offer no satisfaction for this 72-year-old with miles to go before he sleeps. That much is obvious.

continued

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The wooing of Lou Lamoriello began as a concept and ended Thursday night in quiet celebration at a downtown Toronto restaurant.

The deal for the new general manager of the Maple Leafs is three years in length, more than $9 million in salary, and all it will cost the club to sign one of hockey’s iconic figures is a third-round draft pick down the road, the most compensation ever awarded for a 72-year-old hockey executive.

The chase began the way so many hockey negotiations begin, with Brendan Shanahan making a telephone call to Josh Harris, co-owner of the New Jersey Devils. A couple of days earlier, Ray Shero had been named GM of the Devils. Lamoriello kicked himself upstairs, or so the story went.

Shanahan wondered: Would his old mentor have any interest in working for him in Toronto?

He called the Devils and requested permission to talk to Lamoriello about the Leafs’ GM opening.

Harris wasn’t exactly welcoming.

“Let me call you back,” he said.

One day later, still surprised by the Leafs’ request, Harris reluctantly agreed.

continued

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

Comments

DocF's avatar

I’m sorry, but I still see this as the same train wreck with a different conductor, a different engineer and a different dispatcher.  The waiver wires are going to glow from the traffic in Toronto if this mess is to be straightened out.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 07/24/15 at 09:42 AM ET

The Meal's avatar

This could definitely end up a train wreck.  No question about it.

But they’re already sitting at ground zero of the dumpster fire which was the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The fact that they’re doing things differently is laudable, even if every single KK commenter poo-poos the idea.  There is a chance, however small, that with new behavior, new results will occur.

I actually sort of like bringing in a short-term GM to radically alter the environment around the team.  And Lamoriello is just the type of guy who will alter that environment.  Are folks going to get alienated?  You betcha.  But that is almost by design.  They want to eliminate the culture which was already in place and without any question there are going to be a lot of eggshells in the resulting omelette (in the near-term at the very least).

If the NFL-equivalent of Brenden Shannahan was hired by the Lions, I’d want him to take this same route.  Enact a culture of responsibility.  Ship out assets who clearly don’t match that new culture, and bring in two-tiers of management on that same page: one guy long term who players know they can’t simply out-wait because they have longer contracts, and one short-term ballbuster who can go godzilla on the roster, get all the arrows fired in his direction, and then drift away once the new culture is in place and it’s time to actually start proceeding towards becoming an elite team.

I *hope* it’s a unmitigated disaster in Hogtown.  But I don’t see that as the inevitable outcome.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 07/24/15 at 10:57 AM ET

Alan's avatar

You have a GM whose best years are well behind him, and he’s being lauded as the second coming of Christ. I’m not buying what these missive-writers are selling.

Either way, I am fully stocked with popcorn to watch this regular season unfold.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 07/24/15 at 11:35 AM ET

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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.

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