It may be a bit premature to discuss how Lou Lamoriello will
fit in with the current make up of the Leafs front office, but when random news
like this comes down on a Thursday morning and seems so radically different
from the direction the organization is going in, it seems like speculating
wildly as soon as possible may be the best approach. After all it’s July, and
we’re not going to see another hockey story this big for quite some time.
The optimistic view at this point is that Lamoriello is another
voice in the room that will ultimately report up to decision maker Brendan
Shanahan. It’s Shanahan’s show, it’s the Shanaplan, he’s the boss. Dubas and
Hunter will still be the chief architects of the rebuild, but Lamoriello will
be the navigator of the NHL old boys club and use his network so the Leafs can,
I dunno, get a bigger return on their star players when they decide to sell
In this ideal scenario, Lamoriello is less of a traditional
GM, and more of a Lead Negotiator, and that seems wonderful. The Leafs would
have one of the best analytics people, one of the best scouts, one of the best
capologists, one of the best coaches, and one of the best negotiators in the
game working towards a common goal. This is likely going to be the picture
painted for us in the coming weeks, but the reality of Lamoriello is far
If you think Lou Lamoriello went to Toronto to be part of some committee that makes decisions, you don’t know Lou Lamoriello.
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) July 23, 2015
By the way, to those who thought new Leafs management model run like a committee, Lamoriello is definitely not a committee man.
— David Shoalts (@dshoalts) July 23, 2015
Yes, it looks like the Leafs have a true old school GM. He’s
likely the guy calling the shots, making the final personal decisions, and
likely going with his gut over evidence because his years of experience have
greater value to him. I can’t say that I 100% buy that this is what is going to
happen, because if you look at what Lamoriello did, he took a bottomed out New
Jersey team, went through a long rebuild, turned them into a dynasty of sorts
on the backs of a young core, and played a style of hockey that was new and
innovative for its time.
We can crap on how the Devils have been the past few years,
but since relocating to Newark they’ve fought to stay somewhat competitive
because of the need for revenue, and a little loyalty to core players from
championship teams isn’t a horrible thing. Rarely where they paid like they
were in their prime, and it’s also worth remembering the Devils are only four
seasons removed from a Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
Babcock and Lamoriello will be a good fit. Babcock is used to working with a veteran manager.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 23, 2015
Certainly having Babcock on board would be a huge plus in
this as well. Lamoriello has always been at his best when he’s had a coach of
Babcock’s ilk. The Lemaire and Burns years were the best years from the Devils,
maybe this two great hockey minds can click as well.
Leafs will lose third-round pick as compensation for Lamoriello. They will eventually lose Hunter or Dubas if they’re marginalized.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) July 23, 2015
The relationship with Hunter and Dubas will be the tricky
part. As much as I will try to warm up to the hiring of Lamoriello, I certainly
wouldn’t want either of these two key contributors to become marginalized.
Dubas has shown his value this offseason and Hunter has given the Leafs their
best draft in history. Though there’s already speculation that Lou has his own
guys in mind…
Keep en eye on longtime Devils scouting guru David Conte. He was fired by new GM Ray Shero. Among his many great draft picks: B. Shanahan.
— David Shoalts (@dshoalts) July 23, 2015
Again, something along the lines of this isn’t the end of
the world (ignore Conte’s recent draft history). Lou is likely going to bring
in at least one of his guys at some point and we’ll have to be prepared for
that. Cliff Fletcher is a Senior Advisor, I’d imagine that would be a role we
could see someone like Conte fill as well.
I’m sure we’ll have a much clearer picture of the front
office following the press conference, but until then we at least have what
looks like a complete front office organizational chart.