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Was It A Mistake For The Devils To Let Lou Lamoriello Go?

June 10, 2021, 2:03 PM ET [111 Comments]
Roger Mussa
New Jersey Devils Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
We can’t play Monday Morningquarterback but I can say that I was not too happy when Lou Lamoriello left for Toronto back in 2015.

The writing was on the wall when the Devils ownership group wanted to change the culture and hired Ray Shero as GM and left Lamoriello with only a President title in name only. Shero was part of the Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup team in 2009 and after a phone call from Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan with Devils owner (managing partner) Joshua Harris to seek permission to talk to Lou, Lamoriello was gone.

Lamoriello brought structure to the Leafs organization and brought calm to the chaos. Yes, it was a no brainer to draft Austin Mathews as the first overall pick in 2016. But that losing culture hysteria in Toronto started to change for the better after years of debacles. Lou did his job but when his contract was not extended, New York Islanders owner Jon Ledecky came calling, it became a perfect match.

With a great ownership group on Long Island, they hired a great experienced GM that knew how to build a winning organization while transitioning into a new state of the art building. Great general managers thrive by having supportive owners and by hiring not great but elite coaches. When Barry Trotz was made available after winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals, it was a matter of time as success would follow as the Islanders now have a shot at revenge against the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Right now, the Devils have a lot of talent but no semblance of structure. Newly acquired Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac joined their old captain Andy Green after being traded before the NHL trade deadline are absolutely thriving during the playoffs under Lamoriello’s winning formula. Zajac said, “I came from a team where if you weren't under 25, you didn't fit in. Here, it's a little different, it's a veteran team. They play with structure, they play with commitments, and, it's an easy group to come in and insert yourself." Isn’t that what the Devils
need right now?

It was a mistake to let Lou Lamoriello go in the first place. Yes, Lou and David Conte had some weak drafts and had some stumbling points with Parise leaving and the Kovalchuk debacle which made worse by the NHL’s circumvention ruling. After Conte was let go, he found success with the Vegas Golden Knights as they appeared in the Stanley Cup finals in their first year of existence. Now Conte is reunited with Lamoriello. Now that structure and winning formula is on Long Island and the “sustainably winning franchise” rebuild that was promised by Devils ownership is taking forever to come into fruition.

All the Devils fans that are “Lou Naysayers” seem to be awfully quiet today as the Devils’ 2021 draft pick acquired from the Islanders is going lower and lower to the 32nd spot as Palmieri and Zajac get closer to the Stanley Cup.

After all, isn’t that what Fitzy wanted?

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