While Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said he was “thrilled” by the hiring of Lou Lamoriello to the general manager post, there was plenty of speculation about how their relationship would work. Will Lamoriello assert control over how Babcock runs the team from above? Babcock is armed with an eight-year, $50 million contract, but what happens if the two don’t see eye-to-eye?
Peter DeBoer, who has the distinction of being the final coach fired by Lamoriello during his tenure with the Devils, doesn’t buy into the idea that Lamoriello will be telling Babcock how to do his job.
“Not once did he ever tell me what style we should be playing,” DeBoer told the Toronto Sun. “Not once did he ever tell me what line combinations we should be using. Not once did he ever tell me who I should be playing in what situations.
“I had heard a lot of the things you are talking about when I first interviewed for the job, but I found Lou to be nothing like that.
“In fact, in my time there, Lou was nothing but positive. All he wanted to do was to make your life easier as a coach. He would ask how he could help, how he could make things better. He could not have been more supportive.
“I have no doubt he and Mike will be on the same page.”
DeBoer told Babcock the same thing when the Toronto bench boss called him on Thursday to get insight on what it will be like to work under Lamoriello. Babcock noted that he got similar reviews from everyone else he reached out to about Lamoriello despite the fact that most of them had been fired by the former Devils president and general manager.
So maybe when Babcock said he was “thrilled” that Lamoriello was joining their ranks, that’s why.