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.

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.

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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  • giproc

    I have come to accept that most leaf fans never approve of the GM’s we have. He hasn’t done a horrible job, we need to relax. Lou Lamoriello is in the hall of fame for a reason.

    • giproc

      I’M with you Alex , let’s not be too hasty to fire anybody just yet ! We have to look at the big picture and let these people do their job’s!we know that it will take time ! Just look back at Chicago and Detroit , both had rough years before winning!
      Give them a chance ! Patience is needed !

    • Gary Empey

      You are absolutely rite….also between Shanny and Lou how many Stanley Cups…for those haters….go cheer for Ottawa….but for us die hards who are in it to win it.. we got your back blue & white…go leafs go!!!!!

    • A spike or drop in a poll with a five-month sample is something interesting to point out. As Shawn said, the majority is still positive, but to go from riding high 90’s to just barely above even is interesting.

      Does it mean anything? Should the Leafs change things up based a Twitter poll? Probably not, that would be incredibly asinine. But it’s worth pointing out.

      Which really, has bene the encapsulation of the last few weeks. Nobody is calling for the heads of anybody, we’re just pointing out the “huh, weird” moments.

      • Trevor5555

        Im interested to know how many people have been responding to the poll. Sample size is extremely relevent in approval rating polls. You typically need thousands of respondents from various demographics if your poll is meant to truely represent the group you say it does. Its a real stretch to say a twitter poll is really an accurate representation of all Leaf fans perception of our GMs moves so far.

        I like the idea and think it will be very interesting to see how Lamouriello’s approval changes over the next few months and years but to say it represents all Leafs fans is overstepping unless were talking at least thousands of responses.

        I disagree with a lot of the articles points but I still read it everyday because I do love talking about the team and its direction.

        Best of luck and keep up the good work. Always good food for thought.

  • BigDeal

    It is valid to question the recent waivering from what was perceived to be a very solid ShanaPlan. The complete change up in drafting style, the anti-analytic signing of Martin and the turning off of Stamkos …

  • CMpuck

    This summer could have been a lot more fun from a fans perspective, even Lou’s critics aren’t saying ‘fire Lou’ the criticisms have been justified and rather mild, he just not getting a free pass on good will anymore. Lou is always going to be a bit polarizing as he build his culture. It remains to be seen how his culture succeeds in 2016.

  • CMpuck

    Wow,this clown really has the pulse of leaf fans Go on to real leaf sites, like hf boards, or the best MLHS, to really see how the leaf nation feels
    Yea, I’m real upset that Lou is adding to a team, that lost 26 2 goal games, Matthews,Marner,Martin,Rychel,and finally a no 1 goalie, Anderson. Oh, plus a KHL all star defenceman in Zaitsev, right shot no less. So, yea we are, real mad at Lou. Please stop writing about what leaf fans feel, as you really have no idea what you are talking about.

    • I respect the opinion that Lou is going in the right direction. Hell, I’m still generally of the opinion that he is, with a couple road bumps along the way.

      But the Leafs didn’t think they were a 30th place team going into this season and they won a 5-to-1 draft lottery to get Matthews.

      Marner was drafted before Lou. The Leafs and Zaitsev had all but signed the contract (KHL restrictions kept him back another year) before Lou.

      Martin and Andersen are both great hockey adds and will help the Leafs succeed this year. The Leafs also paid at or slightly above expected market value for them. That’s not something a GM should called a genius for; consistently paying at or slightly above market value makes you an average to below average team. The goal is always to beat the market. He didn’t here, but at least he didn’t really lose to the market and got quality players.

      Rychel was an absolutely hilariously lopsided trade and he and the rest of the front office deserve full credit for that.

      What I’m basically getting at here, and what I think we’ve all been trying to get to here, is that the perception should move from “it’s going perfectly” to “it’s going good, but it could be better”. There’s always room for improvement.

      We don’t write claiming to speak for Leafs fans. We write offering our own perspectives. This post is an exception, in the sense that it is literally revealing the results of a poll that had a sample size of nearly 700 voters this month and thousands in total.

      We’re sorry that we aren’t as representative of the community as HFBoards is.

  • Also, as weird as this sounds, I don’t think it’s fair to lump the mainstream media reporters that you have a disdain for in this conversation.

    If you perceive our brand of skepticism as overly critical, it’s worth noting that nobody in the mainstream has been critical of the Leafs’ offseason. The top guys are on vacation, the secondary guys are focused on befriending prospects at development camp, working on their summer sports, or weren’t huge on the Leafs’ prior perceived strategy and like this one better.

    Again, I don’t think we’re being a chamber of actual negativity or calling for the sky to fall, but if you don’t approve of our recent direction, it’s not fair to lump others who aren’t doing the same thing into it.

    • “This is not perfect” is not the same as “start firing people.”

      I bet most of the people who are losing confidence are basically saying that they’re okay with the current staff but wouldn’t say “They think it’s right, so it’s right” anymore.

      • JB#1

        Jeff, a suggestion to bring more clarity to your poll.

        For those disapproving of the job being done by Babcock or Lamoriello – ask if Babcock or Lamoriello should be fired.

        I think you would find the results surprising.

        You’re surmising that those disapproving won’t want either fired but I would bet that more than 1/2 of the those disapproving would vote for them to be fired.

  • hobarth

    It’s Sunday July 10th, and instead of any writing about Leafs Development Camp we get an online twitter poll about Lou’s approval rating?

    Or a hot take on Bernier and Nelson Mandela?

    Even Eklund would put the word “rumoured” in front of “Leafs pursuit of Kris Russell”.

    I read Simmons today, and sadly it was somehow smarter and more reasonable.

    This site has officially lost me. Good luck, hope you guys take a hard look at the likes/dislikes in this comment section and can improve your content again.

  • Harte of a Lion

    This is year Two of Lou or as it shall be known in Leafland from this day forward, Lou2. I feel comfortable that the core decision making group will only benefit from his experience and influence. In 2018/19 he gives up the GM duties to KD as per The Shanaplan.

    KD is not Kraft Dinner

  • Capt.Jay

    @ Jeff Velliette

    “The goal is always to beat the market.”

    That’s not actually true.. The goal is to build a winning team.
    The analysis of many writers from this site seems to be in a vacuum – it’s almost like the Leafs weren’t competing with other teams to sign Martin or trade with Anaheim for Andersen. If they targeted those players, then they’ve done a good job even if they had to SLIGHTLY overpay.

    The goal is definitely not to beat the market. The goal is to accumulate assets and then use those assets to build a team. Some trades and signings they will come out on top but others, they will need to overpay or make mistakes.

    I’m sorry but your logic is flawed if you believe every transaction has to be lopsided in your teams favour or an unbelievable value signing/trade.

  • Gary Empey

    I think there should at least be one reporter on the Leafs site who supports the Leafs including
    the management.
    It seems some fans who bleed blue & white finally see things on the upswing would like this opinion represented on Leaf nation.
    It seems there is someone that Leaf fans are losing confidence in and it isn’t Lou.

  • giproc

    Actually, as a Leaf fan I think Lou has greatly exceeded the expectations I had for him when he was hired.

    I wasn’t sold on some of his antiquated policies and worried if maybe his best deal days were behind him, but damn, you’d have to be extremely cynical to not put everything into perspective and praise the Leafs’ mgmt work to date. Damned near perfect to date in my view, including Anderson, Martin, Polak and the draft selections.

    Hell, just moving Ph9’s contract without long term salary retention deserves a kiss.

    And the click bait title when — by the writer’s own admission — the majority of Leaf fans still have confidence in Lou? C’mon guys, you’re far better than that. We get enough of that crap on sportsnet.ca.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Weird article. You definitely need to tell us about the sample size and method for a graph like that.

    @sharj is right about the cliché “the goal is always to beat the market.” That’s actually the kind of financial thinking that gets people to lose money, and guess what? The data prove it.

    I believe that fans have been perplexed by some of the decisions, especially at the draft. But “losing confidence” is a stretch.

  • Gary Empey

    One of the huge differences between when Lou first came and where we are today, is last summer we knew where and who the team was. Today when we look at the lineup there are a lot of relatively new faces. There are lot of unknowns. For Leaf fans this is not the first time we have seen new faces arrive with great expectations only to fall flat on their faces. I can’t blame anyone for being skeptical or nervous. As for Lou’s moves I think you only have to look at what some of the other Canadian teams have done this summer. Those long term high salary given to older players is something we have avoided here.

    I will close here with: If Lamoriello sticks to his principles and makes a mistake with Matthews contract, nobody should expect me to have anything nice to say about him.

  • Trevor5555

    If I had to grade the Leafs managment on the last 12 months it has to be an A+. We moved out most of the players who werent going to be a part of the solution. We bolstered our prospect base. We identified the players who could help turn the team arround and kept them. We signed filler players who turned into prospects and picks. We got lucky in the lottery.

    Matthews was pure luck. No skill involved in aquiring him. The new managment, scouting and development staff Shanahan hired over the last 18-20 months seemed to draft quite well and also identify good trade targets and signings. The coaching staff seems to have really got the most out of its players. I really think goaltending buried the NHL team last year and we will be much better this year.

    Toronto will be the most improved team in the NHL this season. Largely because of goaltending but coaching, player development and the addition of key players via drafting, trades, waivers and free agency.

    Andersen, Matthews, Nylander, Marner, Martin, Zaitsev and Carrick replace Bernier, Parenteau, Winnik, Boyes, Spaling, Phaneuf. Lupul get bumped by Hyman, Soshnikov etc. The Marlies offer lots of upgrades to the forward group. Greening, Laich and Michalek are options if the young guys dont step up but its unlikely that none of the Marlies are NHL ready.

    Our managment group transitioned us from an aging and failing club with only 4-5 young players worth getting excited about to a young talented club with 4-5 future stars and 15-20 promising prospects with the potential to be good NHLers in about 18-20 months.

    When you look at the big picture and how quickly the team turned arround after Shanahan got his guys in place you have to have every confidence in this teams ability to finish the job. A few depth signings, a trade for a good young goalie or a draft where the Leafs decided to add size and skill and get a few overagers does not change my view of this organizations abilities nor does it indicate a change of philosophy.

    The philosophy is to get good players and the Leafs continue to do that.

  • Gary Empey

    A twitter poll is never going to be an accurate reflection of real Leaf fans. Normally one shouldn’t shoot the messenger. The question here should be, where did the messenger get the message from. There is a lot of bias when it comes to the Maple Leafs.

    Hell there a people out there still pissed off we won the cup in 1967.

  • Jeremy Ian

    I think that I’m OK with Lou’s job so far, but I’m worried that his old school ideals might cause a problem with Austin Matthews. If he doesn’t give Matthews the signing bonuses, down the road, he might decide to go to unrestricted free agency in the future. You can’t mess with a first overall pick like this, since we’ve only had one other, over 30 years ago.

    • wallcrawler

      When the Main Stream Media reported that lammorielo didn’t like handing out signing bonuses to rookies, they’re just trying to manufacture news when none is forthcoming.
      What they didn’t report was that Lou gave all the bonuses that Marner was entitled to, when he signed him last summer.

      • Capt.Jay

        Are you sure it was Lou that signed him? I just don’t remember. He didn’t get the Schedule B bonuses the most he can make is 1.7, not the 3.7 that Mathews is likely to get.

  • JB#1

    Toronto fans suck be patient and everything will work out for the best team in hockey trust in Babcock and Lou Matthews is going to show you why is was number 1

  • Kanuunankuula

    Echo chamber of this place now. You don’t agree with the general sentiment that everything is fine and dandy, and you get trashed to hell. No responses or justifying opinions (I guess that is too hard).

  • Harte of a Lion

    IMHO, Lamoriello has exceeded my expectations in all his moves over the past year. He traded the untradable Phaneuf for this years TDL pump and dump assets Michalek and Greening plus Lindbergh and a 2nd. He then got two more 2nd’s and a 3rd for Spalling Polak and Reimer. Colin Smith and a 4th for Mathias is overshadowed by Winnick 2.0 which netted another 2nd, Connor Carrick and Laich.

    We can argue until the cows come home as to whether the Martin and Polak signings were good bad or otherwise but the fact is that the team decided they had needs and filled two of them through free agency. Neither contract will be an anchor moving forward and as Shanahan showed on the 1050 interview that the Calgary game stung deeply and would NOT be repeated, especially with all the kids joining the team. “We are not suddenly going to go into Calgary and run them out of the building. We just simply have one or two answers for teams that are trying to run us out of the building”

    Andersen is a big bodied athletic goalie who should retain an advantage as the league shrinks the equipment. If he gives the team “average” goaltending it will create a huge confidence boost throughout the entire team. As far as overpayment to the Ducks, or term/$$$ issues, only time will tell.

    Weird Kessel thoughts…

    Andersen was acquired with two pieces of the Kessel trade. The 1st round pick, #30 and a second round pick in 2017. The 2nd is the SJ 2nd acquired in the Polak/Spalling Deal) so if I have all my ducks in order…

    Kessel Deal

    Pit 1st (30, Andersen), NJ 2nd (57, Grundström) Kapenen, Harrington (Rychel) Spalling (SJ 2nd 2017/ Andersen)

    Kessel for Andersen, Kapanen, Grundström, Rychel and possibly part of SJ’s 2018 2nd. For the time being, that’s all she wrote!

    • Gary Empey

      New ownership moved Tallon upstairs. He recently signed a three-year extension, keeping him with the Panthers through 2019.

      In a strange move their AHL coach was given his first NHL GM job replacing Tallon. Their AHL GM will assist. One of the Panther lawyers also becomes an assistant GM.

  • Jeremy Ian

    another blog of this…come on guys, all season you were putting out some good stuff. i get it’s summer time and it’s slow but no need to stoop to poop flinging to generate hits. we’re all tired of dealing with this from MSM. we just drafted Matthews and Marner had an incredible season. Nylander looks ready to playing in the NHL. tons of stuff to be pumped up about and write about. i have faith in you guys that you’ll turn this around. GO LEAFS GO!

  • Gary Empey

    On a personal level, I rarely trash anyone. Most of our commenters are hard core Leafs fans. I like to hear their thoughts on the Leafs. It is unusual for their opinions to be 100% wrong. If we are guilty of anything it’s, we sometimes jump the gun on new acquisitions before we see the results on ice.

    Past history does justify our suspicions.

    Blind Faith – That’s a good name for a rock band.