There are some people that are so deeply involved with a team for such an extended period of time, it becomes hard to envision that person working anywhere else. Lou Lamoriello is a prime example of that.
He spent 28 years with the New Jersey Devils — more than half of the franchise’s existence — and was the architect of all three of their Stanley Cup championships. In a stunning move though, he left the Devils’ organization yesterday to become the Toronto Maple Leafs’ new general manager.
While yesterday was dedicated to digesting the immediate aftermath of the move and what it ultimately means to both franchises, on a more personal level, Lou Lamoriello wanted to reach out to the fans he served for nearly three decades. He did so in a full-page ad that was published in The Record.
Here’s what he said:
Dear New Jersey Devils’ Fans:
Since I first joined the New Jersey Devils in 1987 your dedication to the organization motivated me to work my hardest – every day, every week, every year. The nearly three decades I’ve been with the Devils are times I will cherish and never forget.
Together we saw the New Jersey Devils make history. All of the players who were so devoted to winning and New Jersey. All of the employees of the team who shared the same philosophy. The staffs at what was then Continental Arena and the Prudential Center helping to make sure the New Jersey Devils were always a team you would be proud to support.
1995, 2000, 2003 were seasons where we reached the ultimate goal. We all shared a common objective: Excellence. Hearing you cheering for the team on those historic nights remains with me to this day and always will.
I am most appreciative of Dr. John McMullen for bringing me to New Jersey in the first place. His desire to win the Stanley Cup for New Jersey was a goal we all shared and were fortunate to achieve – three times.
Through all the years, you the fans are an unforgettable part of my New Jersey Devils experience and I am grateful for your passion and unwavering support.
I will miss you and New Jersey. Though now a rival, the New Jersey Devils have a bright future. Of that you can be assured. I thank you again for your commitment to what we worked to achieve every year for the last 28 seasons.
With deepest admiration