Don’t be so quick to write off the possibility of Lou Lamoriello’s departure from the Toronto just yet.
Despite initial reports that claimed the Hall-of-Famer general manager would stay with the Maple Leafs as a senior advisor after fulfilling his three-year stint as the team’s GM, there is a chance that the Lamoriello could be going elsewhere.
On Sunday night, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that there is a “decided uptick” in talks of Lamoriello joining the New York Islanders. TSN’s Darren Dreger added on Monday morning that there is a “very real possibility” that the 75-year-old could join New York’s front office.
The Islanders are in desperate need of an overhaul when it comes to management. Team president and general manager Garth Snow has done little to build the team into a legitimate contender over the past 12 years despite nabbing a generational talent in John Tavares with the No. 1 pick of the 2009 NHL Draft. New York has made the postseason just four times and have made it out of the first round once since Snow’s arrival.
Lamoriello would provide a tremendous upgrade and could be enough to get Tavares, who will be a free agent this summer, to stay in New York.
He built his Hall-of-Fame resume with the New Jersey Devils, acting as the team’s general manager for 28 years beginning in 1987.
Prior to his hiring, the Devils had made the postseason just once in its first 13 years of existence prior to Lamoriello’s arrival. Over the following three decades, New Jersey made the playoffs 21 times and won three Stanley Cups.
He helped the Maple Leafs in the same way during his brief spell as GM. After not making the playoffs for 10 seasons, Toronto was playing hockey in late April in two of Lamoriello’s three seasons at the helm.
But with Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan now looking for a new GM, it looks like Lamoriello doesn’t want to relinquish that kind of position just yet. McKenzie stated on TSN’s Leafs Lunch that “everyone over there seems to think that Lou is going to go to the Islanders. We can’t report that as a fact because we haven’t done that yet, but certainly, there’s been a lot about the possibility.”
Lamoriello has plenty of connections with the Islanders which would make for an easy transition. His son, Chris, has been the assistant general manager under Snow since 2016, allowing for Lou and the current Islanders GM to form a friendship. Snow would likely be a little more willing to relinquish his GM duties if it were to go to someone well-known like Lamoriello with a sterling track record.