Maple Leafs name Lou Lamoriello team’s 16th general manager

Updated: July 24, 2015
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On Dec. 25, 2014 the New Jersey Devils hierarchy was Lou Lamoriello as president and general manager, Peter DeBoer as head coach and David Conte as director of scouting.

Fast forward to May 4 — Lamoriello stepped down as the Devils’ GM and retained the title as team president and brought in Ray Shero to be the new GM. DeBoer was fired on Dec. 26, 2014 and the Devils and Conte mutually parted ways earlier this month. New Jersey hired John Hynes as its head coach.

On Thursday, the Lamoriello era in New Jersey was over as he resigned as team president very early in the morning and minutes later was announced as the 16th general manager in Toronto Maple Leafs‘ history. Lamoriello spent the last 28 seasons as the Czar of hockey operations in New Jersey and will now work for Leafs president Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan was Lou’s first ever draft pick as the Devils’ GM back in 1987. He replaces Dave Nonis at the position.

Lou helped build the Devils into a perennial Stanley Cup contender until 2010. The team made five Stanley Cup Finals in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2003 and most recently 2012, and they won three of them (1995, 2000 and 2003). However, lost in all of this are numerous salary cap issues and the lack of successful drafting, particularly since 2001. New Jersey also has missed the playoffs four out of the last five years and Lamoriello has had some trouble since losing his best draftee in the 2000-2010 decade in Zach Parise to Minnesota and Ilya Kovalchuk retiring from the NHL to go back to Russia. The Devils have struggled mightily on offense and were not able to get the best out of their youth.

There is no doubt that the Lamoriello split with the Devils and subsequent hire in Toronto will be beneficial for all parties involved. Lamoriello was not comfortable with the role as just team president and Shanahan knew that Lou would eventually want to call the shots again with regards to personnel decisions both on and off the ice — despite his age of 72.

Lou also told reporters that he is on board with the rebuild in Toronto. Rebuild is a term he hated to use in New Jersey, as he was always in a win-now mode, but the Leafs only made the playoffs once since 2004 (the last time the NHL locked out and season was canceled). Toronto lost in 2013 to Boston in Round 1.

Now, he will play a major role in mentoring the young front office structure of Kyle Dubas as assistant general manager and Mark Hunter as director of player personnel. Those two are expected, if groomed correctly, to succeed Lou as GM of the Leafs in the not-too-distant future. He will also work with new coach Mike Babcock. So, expect Lou, Shanny and Babcock to play major roles in hockey operations decisions in Toronto.

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