'Speechless' In Blog Form: Lou Lamoriello Selects Ray Shero To Replace Him As Devils GM, Will Remain As President
Huh? What? Am I dreaming? Someone want to give me a pinch? Hell, punch me in the dick. That wouldn't feel nearly as uncomfortable as finding out that Lou Lamoriello has officially conceded the role of General Manager of the New Jersey Devils. On a Monday, no less? Come on guys. Couldn't you let me wipe away the beer that's oozing out of my pores from the weekend before you dropped a Nagasaki-esque bomb on my cranium? I don't even know how to properly address this story. Partially because there are no words to describe the amount that Lamoriello has accomplished for this franchise, and partially because I think it will be for naught when I wake up to a full glass of 'kool-aid' to find things with Lou are 'Status quo'.
Over the last few years in which the Devils haven't made the playoffs there has been a strong contingent of people claiming that Lou could no longer do right by the team. With that said, there was an equal, but opposite, contingent that cited Lou's pedigree in saying he could do no wrong. In reality? It was probably somewhere in the middle. Is Lou still the same guy that raised this franchise from the rubble to create a foundation of success? Is he currently still the same guy that managed to trade off important pieces of the roster in the middle of a championship window only to get back players that could keep that window open longer? Is he the same guy that won 3 Stanley Cups in 9 years while playing in the shadows of the New York City market in an uncapped league? Truth is, he probably isn't. He is much like Tiger Woods. You know, without the whole "penetrating half of the female population" thing. Time waits for no man. Every now and again he might turn back the clock and surprise you (exp: The Cory Schneider trade), but his misses are much more frequent then they used to be. It doesn't mean he is incapable of doing his job, he just isn't revered to the same extent he was in decades past. Regardless, even if you think Lou's talent evaluation has worsened with age, you would have a hard time justifying that there is anyone more qualified to pick his own replacement.
This should satisfy all Devils fans. You can't question Lamoriello's importance to a front office. The value of having such a wildly successful voice in the room can't be overstated. Time will tell if Ray Shero is the right guy or the wrong guy for the job. However, you can bet your ass he couldn't possibly have a better mentor. The ability to ease in a new GM, that has been successful in his own right, under the guidance of one of the best to ever hold the position in any of the professional sports, can only help the transition for both parties. With Lou getting up there in age, and seemingly losing an extra gear on his fastball, the right time for change may be now. In typical Lou fashion, it's when we all least expected it. With that said, it may be a year (or 20) until I feel comfortable addressing anyone else as General Manager of the New Jersey Devils.