Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: lou lamoriello
This past July brought more than a couple of eyebrow-raising free agent signings, but the New Jersey Devils' signing of Mike Cammalleri to a 5-year, $25-million contract was my biggest "WHAT?" moment. Today, the Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy explains why the unlikely marriage occurred:
“He played with an edge and had results,” [New Jersey Devils GM Lou] Lamoriello said. “He’s very diligent and he competes. When you see that in a player, it naturally sticks out. When we were looking at the potential free agencies and the type of player we needed, we felt we needed a scorer. Mike stood right out, and he was one of the top players we looked at, if not the top player.”
The money and especially the term were a huge vote of confidence to Cammalleri, who says the courtship lasted longer than the free agent negotiating period. His best years are behind him, but he remains a useful scorer who can play among the top six forwards. The Devils are taking a leap of faith on him, but it works both ways.
“What attracted me to the Devils was the success they’ve had, the template, the way they do things,” Cammalleri said. “I have a belief in how things are done that leads to successes.”
Unlike the team's financial struggles under the Jeffrey Vanderbeek adminstration, however, the fact that the Devils are going to lose money this season is actually good news.
Gulitti reports that "new" owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer are spending a significant amount of money cleaning up the legal messes Vanderbeek left them, and they're also investing a good chunk of money in growing the Devils' "business brand," reestablishing ties with local businesses and significantly bolstering the team's hockey operations personnel:
[O]n the business side (non-hockey operations), O’Neil says the team had just 76 employees immediately following the sale. Blitzer said the number is “more than double” that now after O’Neil has spent the last year building up his department to put it in a position to be better able to grow the business of the Devils.
“You just didn’t have personnel there,” Blitzer said. “It wasn’t like anyone was doing anything negatively in that sense. They literally did not have positions filled that were entirely necessary to run a business like this. We kind of found that a little bit shocking in terms of how depleted it was at the time we went in.”
Via SI's Allan Muir, New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has every intention of employing Martin Brodeur should the legendary goaltender not find the "right fit" with a championship-contending team, but the Newark Star-Ledger's Steve Politi reports that Lamoriello's standing offer involves a front-office job:
What happens if Brodeur gets to a point where he realizes the right fit isn't there? Lamoriello has the answer. The longtime Devils GM said Brodeur has a job waiting for him with the Devils if he decides to stop playing.
"He knows that," Lamoriello said. "He knows he'll be a Devil for the rest of his life. What Marty has done and the type of personality he is, and what his experience is, it's a no brainer. He's a Devil."
But Lamoriello wonders: Does Brodeur want to work? He's been around enough great players to know that this is not always the case.
"Marty and I have come to an agreement that is best for both himself and the organization, and there's nothing negative about that. Marty knows what it is to be a No. 1 goalie and to have that feeling, and that's what he wants. Cory (Schneider) feels the same way.
"I think it's time to move forward, but never negate what Marty has brought [to the Devils], nor was the door ever shut. It was a mutual understanding of what was best for both parties. Marty will always be a Devil and the communication with him is still there, even recently."
-Lou Lamoriello, GM of the New Jersey Devils on Martin Brodeur. A bit more from Mike Morreale of NHL.com.
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
"It was a distraction, to be perfectly honest," Lamoriello said Saturday. "It distracted everything you had to do."
Lamoriello said he wasn't surprised that there were fewer trades than expected.
"If there was anything that was going to happen, it was going to happen right away," he said. "This has been a very peculiar week, as far as free agency, the draft and then the signings of your own players. You're divided in so many different directions. I think everybody said, 'Let's focus on the draft.' "
The GM said the discussion period, which ends Monday, will inflate free agent prices.
Asked if the Devils will be active in signing free agents beginning noon on Tuesday, Lamoriello said: "We'll talk. As far as what the results will bring, I couldn't tell you."
"They want to give to the New Jersey Devils fans an off-ice experience, they want to make a commitment that [but] more important to me, a commitment to winning. They really know what is necessary to win and what it takes. Everyone wants to win but not everyone knows how. They're creative, they're intuitive and they want to get an edge in every way they can. I'm comfortable with that and I'm honored to be here and stay here in New Jersey with the New Jersey Devils."
-Lou Lamoriello on the new ownership group of the New Jersey Devils. More at the Devils' website.
"I watched him play the last couple of years and I have never seen someone work so hard. We know where he is in his career. He brings something. Everyone who has played with him the last couple of years and also the coaches have been complimentary toward everything he has done. There is no question he can help us on the power play."
"He is a well-conditioned athlete and we are happy with what he is going to bring."
"He is still a top six forward."
-Lou Lamoriello on Jaromir Jagr. More on Jagr signing with the Devils from the CP at TSN.
from Rich Chere of theStar-Ledger,
“It’s coming down to the wire right now,” Lamoriello said. “We’ve just got to trust the people that are involved. I’m embarrassed we are where we’re at. That’s the best expression I can use.”
He didn’t want to think it would take this long.
“I really didn’t know. Like everybody, I hoped not,” Lamoriello said, “but we are where we are right now and we’re getting to the 11th hour. I’m just hopeful everything can work out.”
In past lockouts, Lamoriello has taken an active role in negotiations, but that hasn’t been the case this time.
“I’m not involved the way I was in the past. I can’t answer why,” he said.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
It’s difficult to really ascertain who begat who.
Did Lou Lamoriello make Martin Brodeur, or did Brodeur make Lamoriello? Did Brodeur become the game’s greatest goalie because he became part of Lamoriello’s New Jersey Devils, or has Lamoriello already taken up residency in the Hockey Hall of Fame because he had the best between the pipes for so many years?
This much is certain. Both men, together through years of glory, and then through the last nine years of trying to figure out why they couldn’t win again before arriving, surprisingly, in this Stanley Cup final against the similarly surprising Los Angeles Kings, remain as firmly connected as ever.
Their careers and hockey destinies haven’t just intersected or become intertwined; they have been nearly fused for 20 years. Players and coaches have come and gone, and then come back again (the Devil you know ...) in some cases.
The goalie and the GM, however, have remained like stone pillars.
from Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News,
Somebody comes up to Lamoriello, shakes his hand, says, “I’m a great admirer of your work.”
Lamoriello smiles and says, “You ought to know that we work real hard at that work.”
Like his hockey team. For a long time. Run by a guy who took it over a quarter-century ago without any experience as a player or coach or general manager in the National Hockey League and made something lasting and real and great out of what was a joke at the time, one of the lost-boy franchises, an afterthought even in Jersey.
Made it into the San Antonio Spurs of the NHL.
Lamoriello looks at his phone the other night and sees a message from his friend Bobby Valentine. Before the night is over the Devils are up 3-2 in games and Friday night they beat the Rangers, 3-2, and they go try to win another Stanley Cup for Lamoriello, and the Rangers do what they have done since their greatest hockey spring, in 1994, and that means they go home.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
He has been in the same job, same team, caring about the same three things—winning, family and the Devils, and not necessarily in that order. Maybe Glen Sather has been around the NHL longer, just not in the same place, and nowhere near as consistent.
Lamoriello is in Year 25 on the job: No one else in the game has been a GM longer than 14 years.
And few have experienced anything close to his success.
The Devils are in the playoffs, again, which is where they have been for 21 of his 24 seasons (the lockout stole one year) running the club. He’s missed the playoffs three times, once fewer than his one-time protege has missed in almost four seasons in Toronto.
“The first time was in our second season,” said Lamoriello, who turns 70 in October. “The second time came after we won our first Stanley Cup, and we learned something from that. The third time was last year and that was all my doing. I put a coach (John MacLean) in a position that was unfair. That one was all on me.”
Now that school has started for me, the ease of getting to a computer becomes limited to early in the morning, and very late at night. For my absense on the website for the past couple of days I apologize. Now that things are slowly calming down, I figured I would get back into things here on KK. I have news on the Devils bankruptcy rumor, some player who will be joining the Devils on a tryout, and some other interesting bits of information.
Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, David Pavlak, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: anton+stralman, bryce+salvador, jeff+vanderbeek, justin+barnett, lou+lamoriello, peter+deboer, petr+sykora, sergei+brylin, steve+bernier, thomas+nesbitt.
From Jeff Marek’s The Sheet at Sportsnet:
So let me get this straight: Front loading a contract that includes dead years at the end where the player has zero intention of playing (Ilya Kovalchuk) for cap relief was a violation of the “spirit” of the salary cap, yet trading for a player with zero intention of him ever playing (Trent Hunter) with the sole purpose of buying him out for cap relief isn’t?
I know they’re different, but at the end of the day there are still plenty of ways to get around the salary cap in the NHL and New Jersey, it seems, has tried all of them. Interesting too when you consider that Devils GM Lou Lamoriello helped craft the current CBA. New Jersey has four players on the books this season with buyouts: Andrew Peters, Trent Hunter, Colin White and Jay Pandolfo.
plus more odds and ends from the hockey world
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
What can you say about the importance of Zach Parise to the organization and the importance of re-signing him?
“I don’t think I can say anymore than anybody else can say. He’s an integral part, has been since he’s been here and in everybody’s mind he will continue to be that. So, we’ll do everything we possibly can as expeditious as possible.”
Have you begun your coaching search yet or are you still doing your end-of-season evaluation before moving forward?
“Everything is being addressed at different times. You certainly don’t put anything on the shelf if you can address it. It’s an ongoing process in all areas.”
more on the Devils…
from Christopher Botta of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello will be the “Talkback” guest after the Dec. 14 performance of the play “Lombardi” at the Circle in the Square Theatre in Manhattan. Lamoriello will share his thoughts on the play, on leadership in sports and his affinity for Coach Vince Lombardi. He will take questions from the audience.
Though Lou Lamoriello still has his work cut out to get the New Jersey Devils under the $59.4-million salary cap, one area with a little flexibility might be the blueline.
While no GM would want to give up a player like Bryce Salvador, rumored by many to be one of those moved for salary relief, knowing that an insurance policy like Mike Mottau is waiting could help ease the blow.
On Friday, Lamoriello wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a return for the former Hobey Baker-winning Boston College alum.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
“The standards here are very high—it’s not something that will be accepted,” Lamoriello said. “It’s three years in a row. It’s not something you can hide. We have to look at it.
“Was this team playoff-built? There’s no question in my mind it was. It didn’t get it done. Start with the specialty teams. One team did it, one team didn’t.
“You can’t put any blame on goaltending. We’ve got goaltending.”
Lamoriello said he had high hopes for this team, which earned a 13th straight playoff berth, won a ninth Atlantic Division title, topped 100 points (103) for the 12th time and won its fifth Jennings Trophy for fewest goals-against.
“This team had the ability and potential to go a great distance,” Lamoriello said.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
“I called Lou’s room,’’ said Brian Burke, then a pugnacious, 185-pound Friar forward, recalling a memory of more than 30 years ago. “And I said, ‘Coach, you’re not going to believe this, but some guy’s got a bunch of dogs outside here . . . they’re making a real racket, and there’s no way we’ll get to sleep.’ Lou screams, ‘What?!’ then says, ‘I’ll be right there!’ and hangs up.’’
Burke and his fellow Friars then turned their attention back outside, watching gleefully from their hotel rooms as the diminutive coach from the Dominican Friars college located in Rhode Island’s capital - dedicated to a “spirituality that embraces the whole person’’ as its stated mission - transformed into a ferocious bulldog.
“Lou’s out there screaming at the guy, ‘What’s this! Pack these dogs up . . . get ’em outta here!’ ’’ said Burke. “The poor slob . . . didn’t know what hit him . . . and he gives Lou some lip. That really set Lou off. ‘Look,’ Lou screams, ‘you’ve got five minutes to get these bleepin’ dogs back in their boxes, get ’em outta here. Five minutes! And if you don’t, I’m telling you, I’ll start strangling them, one by one, with my bare hands!’ The guy had to think Lou was nuts. No question. But you know what? He got outta there, dogs ’n all.’’
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
So, instead of insisting that Sutter sit out a year while still under contract, Lamoriello decided to move on. He granted Flames GM Darryl Sutter permission to sign Brent with no strings attached.
“You know once you give consent, because of the new rules in the NHL there is no recourse and no compensation,” Lamoriello told me Tuesday afternoon. “I certainly believe there should be compensation in situations like this for all the obvious reasons, but there isn’t. That’s a league rule and you accept it.”
Lamoriello doesn’t believe Brent Sutter had this type of a defection in mind during last season.
New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur underwent surgery Thursday to repair the distal bicep in his left elbow.
“According to the doctors, his surgery was 100 percent successful,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. “The timetable for his return remains three to four months.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
For all the grumbling around here about the Sabres losing Chris Drury and Daniel Briere — who, me? — the Devils endured much the same last summer with center Scott Gomez and defenseman Brian Rafalski.
No matter, the Devils entered the weekend a point from the Eastern Conference lead, tied with Montreal and Pittsburgh, with a retooled lineup and rookie coach Brent Sutter. Out with the old, in with the new, back in contention.
“What you do, in a sense, is structure your own market,” Lamoriello said recently by telephone. “I’ve always said we have a five-year plan that changes every day.” Some concept.
more and some trade talk too…
From Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice,
Was there a sense of whether there’s going to be an active market at the trade deadline?
“No, I didn’t get a sense of that. I also saw statistics which were very interesting as far as the number of trades that transpired last year as compared to two, three, four, five years ago. (They were) very similar.
“But the trading deadline and (making) trades is always determined by who are buyers and who are sellers, but before you can be a buyer or a seller you have to have someone who has the potential of being out of the playoffs. And right now if you look at the points in each conference, you can see that if you go on a three-game winning streak or a four-game losing streak, you can find yourself on one side or the other. It think a lot will be determined very close to the trading deadline when those decisions have to be made with individual people with their free agency. Do I think there will be movement of players who are not free agents? Unless it’s a pretty big deal for both sides, I would be surprised at this point. It would have happened already.”
much more... of an interesting conversation with Lou Lamoriello Wednesday night, discussing everything from trade rumors to rule changes discussed at the GM meetings in Naples this week.
*with thanks to Steve for providing the heads-up on this interview
Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice asked Devils’ GM Lou Lamoriello, “What’s Wrong with the Ice?”
Lamoriello said the problem has been with a malfunctioning computer that is supposed to regulate the ice’s temperature, hardness, etc. These things can be affected by numerous factors: the outdoor temperature, humidity, being covered for basketball games, concerts and other events. For Sunday’s game against Atlanta, they turned off the computer and changed the settings manually. The idea, however, is to get the computer working properly.
“We’ve been talking to CIMCO and had people from the NHL here to work on (the ice),” Lamoriello said. “This is the best system in the country. There’s no excuse not to have the best ice. We’re completely comfortable that this is all going to get straightened out.”
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
While the print media was oozing doom and gloom after Islanders edged New Jersey, Sutter steadfastly insisted that he saw many positives—and he was right.
Plus, his boss, Lou Lamoriello hardly was in a panic mode either.
It didn’t hurt that Jamie Langenbrunner had returned to the offense and Colin White soon would follow on the back line.
more on the Devils…
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
If ever Lou Lamoriello and his rookie coach Brent Sutter had a challenge on their hands, they do now, TODAY, Saturday, as they take on the Flyers this evening in Philadelphia.
Following a pair of home losses to the Rangers and then Islanders, New Jersey has a team that struggles to score goals at even strength and is egregiously futile when they have a man advantage.
On top of it all, they seem to lack overall zip over a 60-minute period, and remarkably, invariably suffer a bad break.