Leafs Fans Are Losing Confidence In Lou Lamoriello

It’s been a polarizing off-season for the Leafs – what with the Andersen trade, the sort of players the team took at the draft, the Martin and Polak signings, and the team’s pursuit of Kris Russell. It’s no surprise then that Leafs fans faith in GM Lou Lamoriello appears to be at an all-time low.

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Since the start of March, every month on Twitter I’ve been polling people on whether or not they approve of the job Lou Lamoriello and Mike Babcock are doing for the Leafs. The hope was that the results would become interesting over time, as fans opinions of the two inevitability changed.

I got what I came for this month when I asked Leafs fans yet again whether or not they approved of the jobs that Lamoriello and Babcock were doing. Here were the results:


As we can see, fan support for Mike Babcock is still virtually unwavering and unchanging – not surprising since he’s the coach of the team and the team doesn’t play hockey games in July.

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For Lou Lamoriello, though, we see a big drop. While support for him as the team’s GM has been very strong ever since I started the polls, he saw a big dip after the past few weeks saw the team make a series of questionable moves.

Granted, support for Lamoriello is still at 58%, which means the majority of fans still approve of him, but it’s nonetheless a sudden and large drop in the degree of satisfaction people have with him.

Hopefully, these polls reflect some more interesting changes in fan perception over time, and for the sake of Leafs fans, hopefully Lamoriello’s approval ratings go back up in short order.

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  • Jeremy Ian

    I was always skeptical when he got the job but was willing to let him show what he can do. I haven’t changed my stance there but rightfully the questions should be asked and critiques discussed this unequivocal support is very rose tinted.

  • silentbob

    It seems unfair to judge one member of the management staff and not the others. Lou isn’t acting on is doing, just doing what he wants without speaking too and getting opinions from Shanahan and Dubas and Babcock etc…

    Do people honestly thing Lou went out and signed Martin before Shanahan got to the office one day and without speaking to his very highly paid long term coach?

    Its very simply whats happened this off-season – the last couple years they’ve focused on upping the skill level of the organization, mostly in the development system. This year they obviously identified some areas of need – mainly in the size and phyicality areas – and are addressing them. But isn’t that what we should want and expect? Wasn’t the idea that its much easier to find grinders and physical players as UFA’s then the top of the roster skilled guys? So they’ve spend a few years drafting and getting Nylander, Marner, Matthews, Kapanen, Brown, Lindberg, Johansson etc… then used the “tool” of free agency to address another weakness and signed Martin.

    Same with the draft, they focused on addressing an area of weakness – size, physical play etc… and my guess is they went for a lot of overagers, at least party, to put those guys on a similar to clock to the guys they drafted over the last 2-3 seasons.

    The Leafs still have all the speed and skill they had a month ago. If they do a good job 1 or 2 of the players outside of Matthews they drafted this year will be NHL players, so in 2-3-4 seasons they’ll still have hte talent and skill we are expecting and hopefully a couple guys who are a little bigger and tougher to sprinkly through the line-up. Isn’t that a good mix for a hockey team?

  • Capt.Jay

    I haven’t lost confidence in Lou. Been a die hard fan for years and I’m still %100 sure he’s doing the right things. Anderssen and Rycheil were pretty solid additions. The draft was a head scratcher but I think because of last years draft they had the room to take chances on players of a different ilk.

  • Capt.Jay

    With regards to the Martin signing. It may not have been the best signing in the world but I have a feeling the four horseman (Lou, Babcock, Shanahan, Dubus) sat down and said “we need to protect our young investments with guys not named John Scott or Colton Orr”. He wasn’t the best signing but he may have been the only option. I saw Chara last year try 3 times go out of his way to try a big hit on Nylander with no one there to step up. Something had to be done and Lucic was far too expensive.

    • silentbob

      well its a good thing Martin is here

      Now if Chara wants to hit Nylander (which is you know, his job and everything) then someone else on the Bruins will have to fight Martin…..I be that will make Chara think twice……..

      • Capt.Jay

        Ya ok, so let’s not have anyone then. Fantastic idea. Wendell Clark went up to Gino Odjeck and told him if anyone ran gilmour that he’d be going after Bure. Not the guy who hit him, but their star. Open your spectrum.

        • silentbob

          Yes, and no one ever hit Doug Gilmour…….

          So your solution to star players not being targetted and hit is having players target star players……..

          Just a question for you – would you expect and/or be okw ith Martin or Komarov or Hyman or Laich or Greening or Polak not hitting another teams star players because they are scared of getting punched? Or do you expect them to do their job anyway?

          • Capt.Jay

            Wow! It was a statement on how other teams will behave a little more knowing there are players on the other team capable of responding. Lucic said everyone knew last year you could take liberties with the oilers and there would be no repercussions. Martin adds more sand paper then we had last year.

            So let me ask you this seeing as you like to ask questions of your own. Would you prefer all small skilled players or maybe some toughness here and there to protect all those guys?

            And yes people hit gilmour. Mc sorley laid him out big time but Clark went in and sent a message that we all love and talk about still over 20 years later. Then he destroyed Lucky Luc the next game. After that teams knew when Wendel said there’d be a response if anyone touches Gilmour he meant it. Vancouver in that series left him alone. We didn’t have anyone who could do that last year.

            Not sure what you’re not getting in this

          • silentbob

            Now you’re making a False equivalence – toughness doesn’t = fighting. And protection doesn’t work, as I pointed out, if it did there would never be any fights since everyone would be too scared of getting in a fight to do anything to cause one.

            Yes, McSorley hit Gilmour; so what “protection” did Clark provide? Was that the last time Gilmour was ever hit on an NHL rink?

            Your premises is that the threat of Martin punching someone your team will deter other players from hitting Nylander, Marner, Matthews, Kadri etc… For this to be true players on other teams have to be scared of Martin punching them in the face, or the threat would provide no protection. Now if we are going to assume that other players on other teams are going to be scared of Martin’s face punches, should we not assume that players on the Leafs are scared of other teams tough guys face punches? For a specific example, when the Leafs play the Oilers, shoudl we expect players like Martin, Komarov, Grenberg, Polak, Laich etc… to not touch McDavid and co. because they are so terrified of Lucic that its reasonable to expect they won’t do their job as hockey players? Should we expect to see the Oiler players skating around with impunity because our players are too scared of Lucic’s face punching to hit them? You think thats reasonable?

          • Capt.Jay

            dude. I can’t believe you don’t get it. If there is no one to worry about on the other team, you can go out and do whatever you want and no one can or will stop you. You don’t do that if you know you could get your butt kicked by some guys on the other team or risk having them retaliate against your stars. It’s called policing, it isn’t new. Use your head. I’ve given you examples and you still refuse to listen purely out of spite.

            You used the term toughness doesn’t equal fighting. Give me an example of a soft player going around fighting then.

            As for gilmour ever being hit ever again. I don’t recall a time when guys tried to run him when Clark was in the game.

            And as for Chara doing his job by hitting Nylander. the HNIC panel even made mention how Chara was going out of his way to do it. Hitting is one thing, targeting is another and that’s what this management is trying to avoid. Man I hope you get it now.

          • silentbob

            But going back to your Gilmour example – Clark was there and they still did what they wanted, so the threat of getting face punched didn’t stop anything. More generally, if players really were detered by the threat of getting their butts kicked (bare in mind these are pro-athletes who get on the ice every other night knowing they are going to get hit repeatedly, not sure why some off-balanced punches would scare them…..) then no stars would ever get hit, there would be no dirty plays ever and there would be no fights ever. If getting face punched is this big threat that keeps everyone in check, why does the dirty stuff and fighting keep on happening? I know the “concept” is that its policing, unfortunately in doesn’t really work in reality.

            As for my question – do you expect Matt Martin and other Leaf players to not hit McDavid, that team to skate around with impunity when the Leafs play the Oilers because everyone on the Leafs is scared of Lucic? Or do you expect the Leaf players to do their job and play well regardless?

          • silentbob

            Do you expect the Leaf players to give McDavid free-reign on the ice because they are scared Lucic?

            Why did Gilmour continue to get hit even though he was on a team with Clark?

            More generally, why does any player ever hit a star player to make a dirty play if they are scared of getting face punched?

            And no – saying “arg, you just don’t get it” and stating you opinions again isn’t an answer.

          • Capt.Jay

            Ok, this is gone on way too long but here it is. With regards to McDavid and Lucic, I played at a high level and there were teams that could beat us because we hated going into the corners or the dirty areas. We were so much more skilled than them too. The Marlies found this out this year even though they were the most skilled team. Hitting a guy is one thing, roughing him up after the play and trying to get him off his game is another. It’s called taking liberties with the star players.

            Would you face wash McDavid with Lucic standing next to him? Would you run a guy if the threat of it then happening to your star was possible? Probably not. Lucic was a force for Boston but when he went to LA we didn’t hear much of him. We will hear more now that he is in Edmonton.

            Gilmour got hit, but never like he did after Clark took on one of the toughest guys in hockey at the time. Dave Semenko made a career out of protecting Gretzky because he needed it. I don’t remember anyone ever giving gilmour or Gretzky pa face wash or punches to the face after a whistle. There’s more to the game then just a hit, there are other intangibles as I just mentioned. Marner, Nylander and the others could be thrown off their game if a guy like Marchand is allowed to run around doing whatever he wants if no one is there to take care of him.

            Would you ever try to rough a guy up with his huge big brother there? I watched those games that had gilmour and Clark in them and teams treated him differently when Wendel was around. Hitting is part of the game. But when he received the elbow it was too far and Clark knew it, and did what he had to do. It’s not the hitting TML is worried about, it’s the other BS like a guy like Chara desperately trying to run (not just hit but run ) nylander with no one there to stop it. It was so obvious that the HNIC panel was mentioning it repeatedly throughout the game./p>

          • silentbob

            Yes, I would continue to do my job. The fact that people at a lower lever let fear stop them is probably one of the reaons they are at a lower level. The “threat” of some off balance punches wouldn’t deter that. And I don’t expect players the leafs are paying millions of dollars too to stop doing their jobs.

            If Clark fighting McSorely scared peopel off of hitting Gilmour why’d he have to go talk to Odjeck? And I showed you a video proving how “effective” Semenko’s protectino was. You’ve bought into a narrative that isn’t real. The very fact that McSorely hit took place PROVES that the threat of Clark fighting someone didn’t protect Gilmour at all.

            Hell, whats his face with the Sabers a few years ago went after Kessel, even thougth he know Orr and a few others who would fight were there. The fact that these things still happen PROVES that the threat of getting punched doesn’t stop anything.

            How many times did Nylander get run last year?

  • FlareKnight

    This is getting to the point where you just let Simmons make a blog…or maybe it’s where Healy has gone since the CBC let him go.

    A twitter poll is cute, but you have literally no control over it. You can say that a bunch of people don’t have faith in Lou, but you can’t possibly prove even the majority of people that participated are Leaf fans.

    As to the decisions I honestly don’t see a lot of fans losing their minds. I see a bloggers upset that they can’t predict what the Leafs are doing though. Seems like the blogger-verse is becoming quite good at mimicking general media. Fina negative topic and go nuts.

    I wouldn’t agree with every move they made, but I get why they made a fair number of them. And I know when I don’t know why they did something and not going to impose my logic on it.

    At this point I just get it. After the Burke era, everyone lost their minds. No one can just relax and see the process through. Guess when some said they could handle a rebuild, they only meant one that they themselves controlled the entire process for. We got a lot of good in the last year in getting rid of Phaneuf, getting assets, and getting Matthews. I’m good with seeing how the season unfolds.

  • silentbob

    I don`t think anybody is afraid of Lucic. He is a hit from behind type of guy and he will get what he deserves when the time comes. I don`t see him as a big threat because if he was he wouldn`t be getting bounced around the league!!