Considering the tone of Lou Lamoriello’s comments about John Tavares leaving the New York Islanders, you’d almost expect him to respond with: “John Who?”
While Barry Trotz’s comments boil down to standard operating procedure – they’ve moved on from Tavares, and the team appreciates the structure provided by Lou – Lamoriello’s comments just about command the “oohs” that precede a schoolyard fistfight.
“There’s no aftermath. Players come and go,” Lamoriello told The New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis on Tuesday.
“It’s different if they had won championships. It’s different if they had had a lot of success. They haven’t done much — and I don’t say that with any disrespect. Haven’t been to the playoffs the last couple years. Things haven’t worked out the way everybody would have liked them to, from what my understanding is.”
Sheesh. By the way, the line “I don’t say that with any disrespect” should absolutely be read like Ricky Bobby in “Talladega Nights.”
In the grand scheme of things, Lamoriello is really just ramping up the saltiness toward Tavares, as it was difficult to ignore the subtle jab regarding Tavares’ “individual success” in the team’s July 1 press release following his departure to Toronto.
It’s difficult to tell if this Islanders team will be fun to watch in the immediately “non-aftermath” of Tavares leaving. After all, there’s a strong chance that Trotz could instill a superior defensive system after last season’s mess, which could really help their duo of Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner. There’s also still some nice talent, from marquee center Mathew Barzal to Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle.
If there are growing pains management is trying to shrug off, then at least Lamoriello can entertain with his peculiar predilections and snipes at Tavares, not an ex claiming they don’t care about their former romantic interest’s actions refreshing their Facebook page incessantly.
Tavares hopes for a warm reception during his first road game against the Islanders on Feb. 28, and understandably so. Really, Lamoriello already channeled a lot of the fan’s hard feelings with his “this totally doesn’t bother us” routine.
Let’s all giggle at Lou’s rules
Speaking of Lou’s peculiar proclivities, bask in the goofy glory of Lamoriello’s well-documented, Mr. Burns-like mandate for short hair and no facial hair, along with his insistence on lower jersey numbers. If you’re the type of person who got weird about Josh Ho-Sang wearing Mario Lemieux’s 66, breathe easy.
Via The Athletic’s Arthur Staple (sub required):
Lamoriello prefers the old-school, low numbers, especially for younger players. No one has a say in the matter either — Mayfield arrived to Northwell Health Ice Center earlier this week to find No. 24 on his helmet, just as Adam Pelech discovered he now wears No. 3 instead of No. 50.
As you can see from a recent golf tournament, players such as Cal Clutterbuck are almost unrecognizable while clean-shaven, which stands in contrast to newly liberated Maple Leafs players being seen with beards.
You do you, Lou.