Tag: Lou Lamoriello

Lou Lamoriello

Full autonomy: Lamoriello’s place in Leafs’ chain of command


How would a front office that once pondered not naming a GM at all handle the addition of an executive who’s accustomed to wielding Zeus-like control?

When the shock of the Toronto Maple Leafs naming Lou Lamoriello as their new general manager wore off, people began wondering how, exactly, everything would work. It seems simple enough, though: Lamoriello will wield the typical stopping power of a GM, answering only to Brendan Shanahan, as TSN noted from his presser:

“That’s what I’m told,” Lamoriello said. “I report to Brendan. And the other people report to me.”

While Lamoriello noted that he’s “not going to be here for a lifetime,” the 72-year-old’s three-year contract is at least part of the argument against this being a transitional hire (with young assistant GM Kyle Dubas potentially taking the reins).

Instead, it sounds the future of that executive position is quite open-ended:

It’s truly been a drastic couple of years of changes with Shanahan in charge, as the team replaced Randy Carlyle with Mike Babcock, Dave Nonis with Lamoriello, seemed to do a 180 on analytics and even traded Phil Kessel.

As much as executives preach patience, it’s tough to shake the feeling that the drama’s just starting.

Here’s video of the press conference:

Lamoriello’s departure removes any doubt: Devils are Shero’s team

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Lou Lamoriello becoming the Toronto Maple Leafs’ new GM wasn’t just a surprise to New Jersey Devils fans. Executives didn’t see it coming, either.

Principal owner Josh Harris told the press that he found out “very recently” that Lamoriello wasn’t happy about a power-sharing situation with new GM Ray Shero.

“When you’re used to having absolute control of an organization… it was a different situation,” Harris said of Lamoriello, according to the Newark Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere.

Shero is the new sheriff in town

Speaking of absolute power, it sounds like Shero will clearly be the man in charge, rather than dealing with more of a transition with Lamoriello as president. Harris said that he doesn’t feel the need to hire a new team president after this stunning departure.

Shero admitted that he was “surprised” that Lamoriello left for Toronto.

What’s next for New Jersey?

While Harris made the typical overtures about the team being willing to spend, it indeed sounds like the franchise may play it tight and rebuild:

As far as team-building goes, this is quite clearly Shero’s unquestioned regime now, but some other executive matters may be a collective effort.

Harris admits that he’ll miss Lamoriello, yet maybe pictures like these provide a decent argument that it might be best for everyone to remove such a looming, overwhelming presence. At least if they want to make some changes:

source: AP
Via AP

Lamoriello uncertain if he’ll return behind Devils’ bench vs. Avs

Lou Lamoriello

For the first time since taking over as head coach in December Lou Lamoriello watched from the press box as the Devils fell 6-2 to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

According to Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record, the 72-year-old is uncertain of whether he’ll return behind the New Jersey bench tonight when the Devils visit the Colorado Avalanche.

“I think there’s been enough discussion on that as far as what I can and can’t do there,” Lamoriello said. “There’s things that you can find out from both areas because there’s a different viewpoint. It’s not that you don’t have that. It’s just a decision of what’s going to be best going forward.”

As for what he saw in the loss Tuesday, Lamoriello said, “We got outchanced, we got outmuscled and we were beat to the puck.They were a desperate team and mentally, I thought, we did some things that I haven’t seen us do for quite a while. So, we just have to respond to that.”

Colorado (30-26-11) won the only other meeting of the season 3-2 on Nov. 15.

The Avs remain mathematically in the hunt for a wild card spot in the Western Conference, but their playoff hopes took a blow in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the L.A. Kings.

Colorado trails Winnipeg for the second wild card spot by seven points with both teams having played the same amount of games.

Gomez: ‘It seems like it’s been a lifetime’

Scott Gomez

Veteran center Scott Gomez continues to wait for a contract from the New Jersey Devils 14 games into the season.

Gomez, 34, was invited to the team’s camp on a professional tryout, but not signed to a contract once the season began. He was asked to hang around New Jersey, practice and wait for an opportunity to arise.

“I think it would be difficult if I was younger. I knew what the deal was,” Gomez told The Star-Ledger. “It seems like it’s been a lifetime, but it’s only been (14) games.

“I’ve never been in this situation, but I’ve talked to other guys who have been in this situation, like (Jay Pandolfo), and the main thing is that you feel part of it. I don’t feel I’m in the way. I knew coming into it I had to have patience. Being around the guys has always been the most fun part. The coaches and everybody have made me feel part of it.”

Despite injuries and a three-game losing skid, Gomez has yet to be called upon by GM Lou Lamoriello. The former Devils first-rounder isn’t putting a time frame on how long he’s willing to wait around.

“When you start thinking that way, that’s when negative stuff comes into your mind,” Gomez said. “I’m not setting a deadline because of the respect I have for the organization and Lou. It’s more coming day to day and getting my work in to be ready.

“I’ve been around the league long enough. Crazy things can happen. We all know what can happen. The most important thing is staying in shape. You can’t let other things get in your head.”

Gomez remains hopeful and has not begun thinking about life after hockey.

“I’ll cross that bridge when it comes,” he said. “It’s been one day at a time. Get my work in, stay fresh, stay hungry.”

Risk Factors: New Jersey Devils edition

Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique

From the same bunch of pessimists who brought you “Why your team won’t win the Stanley Cup,” PHT presents a new series called “Risk Factors,” i.e. three reasons to be worried about each NHL team in 2014-15.

New Jersey Devils

1. Not getting younger

A 28-year-old player told me last season that it’s a “young man’s game now” imagine what said player thinks looking at the roster of the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have nine players on their 23-man roster released Tuesday who are 32-years or older.

New Jersey entered the 2013-14 as the oldest team in the NHL and in the offseason they went out and got older. Despite 42-year-old Martin Brodeur not returning, the Devils went from an average age of 29.83 last season to 31.23 this season. Leading the way of course is 42-year-old future hall of famer Jaromir Jagr. The Devils also went out and added 33-year-old Martin Havlat and 32-year-old Mike Cammalleri in the summer. In goal, to replace the aging Brodeur, GM Lou Lamoriello went out and acquired 37-year-old goaltender Scott Clemmensen to backup Cory Schneider.

New Jersey also made news last month inviting several aging veterans to its’ camp. Despite cutting Ruslan Fedotenko (35), Tomas Kaberle (36) and Mike Komisarek (32), Jordin Tootoo (31) was signed on Tuesday and Scott Gomez (34) remains on a “taxi squad” awaiting a contract offer.

Without even counting Gomez, the Devils forward group carries an average age of 30.8.

2. No training wheels for Schneider

For the first time in his career Schneider enters the season as the clear-cut No.1 goaltender in New Jersey.

In years previous he had the comfort of knowing Brodeur or Roberto Luongo were around, but this season he’ll be expected to carry the load and start 60-plus games for the Devils. If last season is any indication, he can handle a heavier load. Schneider appeared in a career-high 45 games for the Devils finishing with a third-best 1.97 GAA and his .921 save percentage was better than both Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick.

There’s no reason to think Schneider can’t start 65 or so games, but we haven’t seen him do it and until we do, the jury is still out on whether Schneider can handle the workload of a No. 1. If he falters, or heaven forbid suffers serious injury, the Devils will have to rely on Clemmensen, who is back in New Jersey after tours in the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers organizations.

Is there cause for concern with regards to Schneider as a No. 1? There could be if the Devils fail in the goal scoring department and put further pressure on Schneider to be near perfect every night.

3. Where are the goals going to come from?

Relying on a 42-year-old to carry your offense is a recipe for disaster – the Devils did just that in 2013-14 as Jagr led the team with 24 goals, 43 assists and 67 points.

This isn’t the early 90’s, the Devils cannot continue like that.

Lamoriello signed Cammalleri and Havlat this summer with the hopes of adding to the offence. Only three teams finished with a worse goals-for per-game (2.40) than New Jersey last season. Not surprisingly neither of the three were playoff teams.

Cammalleri’s 26 goals in 2013-14 with the Calgary Flames would’ve led the Devils, but it was also his highest output since the 2009-10 season when he was a member of the Montreal Canadiens. The former L.A. Kings second-round pick hadn’t reached the 20 goal plateau in four seasons prior to last year so expecting him to score 25-plus again, might be asking for too much.

Havlat was bought out of the final year of his contract with the San Jose Sharks in June after scoring 12 goals and 22 points in 48 games last season. His tenure in the Bay Area was mired by injuries and the hope in New Jersey is that reuniting Halvlat with his countrymen Patrik Elias and Jagr will help the former Ottawa Senators first-round pick get closer to the 22 goals he scored while a member of the Minnesota Wild in 2010-11.