Lou Lamoriello Is Now The GM Of The Toronto Maple Leafs, And I Am Questioning Literally Everything Else In My Life
Fire&Ice- After 28 years with the Devils, Lou Lamoriello has resigned from his position as team president to become general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Lamoriello, who will turn 73 on Oct. 21, stepped aside as Devils' general manager on May 4 and named Ray Shero as his replacement.
Lamoriello joins Brendan Shanahan with the Maple Leafs. Shanahan, who was the first player drafted by Devils under Lamoriello's guidance in 1987, was named the Maple Leafs team president in 2014.
Lamoriello becomes the 16th GM in Maple Leafs history.
Lamoriello left Providence College to become team president of the Devils on April 30, 1987. He assumed the title of general manager prior to the start of the 1987-88 training camp.
The Devils made the playoffs for the first time in their history the following spring and would go on win three Stanley Cups, five Eastern Conference titles and nine division championships. Lamoriello was incucted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2009.
I suppose we should have seen this coming. Maybe our hearts wouldn't let us. Maybe the idea of Lou Lamoniello no longer having an affiliation with the franchise he built from the ground up was too much to digest. No matter how up there in age Lou is, this is what he was born to do. He's not, and will never be, a figurehead president. He went into the Hall Of Fame as a 'builder' because that's exactly what he does. He builds teams. He makes organizational decisions. Watching his 'baby' get run by another man while he sits idly by in a press box is not in his blood. If not being in charge anymore didn't kill him, then watching his players use Twitter, wearing third jerseys and high numbers, and having his other age old concepts be compromised certainly would. He doesn't have it in him to watch HIS New Jersey Devils go through a rebuild. That mentality is what brought three Stanley Cups to the great state of New Jersey. It's also the same mentality that was responsible for signing a bunch of over-the-hill stopgap players in a desperate attempt to stay competitive. He's a winner, and despite what's best for the long term success of the team, if he's not doing his damnedest to lift a Stanley Cup at the end of each and every year then he's not being himself. It's a gift and a curse, but the gift far outweighed the curse.
I'm not going to lie to you. All the non-Devilish things that happened over this past offseason pale in comparison to this. David Conte not being renewed at Scouting Director. Scott Stevens being let go from the Coaching Staff. Marty Brodeur not being contacted to work in the Front Office in some capacity. I think all Devils fans could look past those. This one hurts, and it hurts bad. It feels like my own Grandfather just up and choose another family at the age of 72. Change was absolutely necessary, and while that change may have required Lou to be moved to a less hands-on position, it feels like the soul of the New Jersey Devils has been ripped out it's stomach. I feel like I'm mourning the death of a loved one. If someone ever asks me if I have been married before I am going to break down in tears, because Lou Lamoriello leaving the Devils is like going through the worst divorce of all time.
I don't disagree with the path that Ray Shero has taken thus far in restructuring this team. The Devils needed to get younger and faster. They needed a year or two without burdening player development by overpaying average to below average 30 year old players to long term contracts. However, I hope Shero is ready, because it's all on his shoulders now. If Cory Schneider thought replacing Marty Brodeur as the starting goaltender in New Jersey was tough, then replacing Lou Lamoriello as the principal decision maker is damn near impossible. I want to blame this on the new ownership, but at the end of the day, it's probably the best move for the on-ice product. It just makes me sick that it feels like Lou was pushed out the door after all he has done for the sport of hockey, and specifically the Devils organization. It just doesn't feel right, and it may never feel right. At least until this new regime brings a Stanley Cup to Newark, New Jersey. We'll miss you Lou, and we will never forget how you were the architect behind every single memorable moment in New Jersey Devils history. It doesn't matter where he goes, to Devils fans he will always be our General Manager. He will always be the heart of The New Jersey Devils. This organization was constructed on the foundation of his principles and if it hopes to have any success in the future, it will maintain those very same characteristics that made this team more than a winner, but a family.