The New York Islanders have hired former New Jersey Devils savior Lou Lamoriello to come in and run hockey operations in a leading role capacity.
It seemed like a crazy thought. When Lou Lamoriello was denounced as General Manager (GM) in Toronto, New York Islanders fans dreamed about the possibility of Lamoriello calling the shots for the Isles.
In the coming days, there were rumors around the league that it not only made sense but that it was actually a possibility. Not long after, the rumors intensified and it was reported that Lamoriello and the Islanders were talking about a position within the origination.
Now, May 21 becomes a day Isles fans will remember for a long time.
Former New Jersey Devils builder, the man who literally put the organization on the map, Lou Lamoriello, is now heading back to the New York Metropolitan area to head-up the hockey operations for the New York Islanders.
Arthur Staple of The Athletic put out the exclusive report on Monday afternoon after several weeks of rumors that the two sides were nearing a deal.
Exclusive: Lou Lamoriello will be hired to run Islanders' hockey operations https://t.co/Q3HJlTKU21
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) May 21, 2018
Lamoriello was the GM of the New Jersey Devils from 1987 to 2015 and won the Stanley Cup with the Devils on three separate occasions (1995, 2000 and 2003) with the franchise.
He joined the Toronto Maple Leafs ahead of the 2015-16 season and in his three seasons at the helm, the team made the playoffs twice.
Lamoriello has a knack for addressing team needs in an effective matter. Looking at the Maple Leafs team he took over, for example, a goaltender was desperately needed. So after a disappointing 2015-16 season, he traded a 2016 first-rounder and a 2017 second-rounder for Fredrik Andersen who often has to stand on his head every night to steal his team games.
Lamoriello also shored up the team’s center depth at this past trade deadline, acquiring Tomas Plekanec (and Kyle Baun) for Kerby Rychel, a 2018 second-round pick, and Rinat Valiev.
According to the exclusive story from The Athletic, the Isles’ GM of the last 12 seasons, Garth Snow, has an unconfirmed contract with at least four years on it. The salary he is making is unconfirmed but it apparently has a “steep buyout clause.”
While the Hockey Operations title does seem important, many have argued that it means nothing if Snow is still calling the shots. That won’t be a case according to Arthur Staple; Lamoriello “will be fully in charge.”
There is also a family connection within the Isles origination as Lamoriello’s son, Chris, is the team’s assistant GM. There has been some speculation if Lamoriello will bring in some of his own staff like Doug Weight did when he was officially named the team’s head coach after the 2016-17 season. There’s been nothing on that front as of now, although Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wondered out loud on NHL Network last week if Mark Hunter, an assistant GM with the Maple Leafs, could potentially join Lamoriello.
Most importantly, Lamoriello has reportedly reached out to John Tavares’ camp. The Isles’ franchise player and captain is scheduled to hit Free Agency on July 1 if a new deal isn’t reached by that time.
Lamoriello politely declined to comment when spoken to by Andrew Gross of Newsday.