A New Leaf: Lou Lamoriello Leaves Devils, Named GM In Toronto

After a Hall of Fame career in New Jersey lasting 28 years that included five trips to the Stanley Cup Final and three championships, Lou Lamoriello is moving on.

In stunning news, Lamoriello has resigned his position as president of the New Jersey Devils and accepted the role of general manager with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lamoriello resigned as the Devils general manager on May 4, handing the job to Ray Shero. Current Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan was drafted by New Jersey in 1987, which just so happens to be the year Lamoriello took over as the Devils’ president and general manager.

Lamoriello becomes the 16th general manager in Toronto’s long, storied history. With Shanahan and new head coach Mike Babcock, the Leafs are loading up a Hall of Fame group to turn around the franchise. It’s also an expensive endeavor; Babcock signed a record deal earlier this summer, and Toronto will have to provide draft pick compensation to Jersey to sign Lamoriello.

Toronto has been rumored to have interest in making a number of trades this summer, but has only moved Phil Kessel so far. Signing a new general manager may open the flood gates in Toronto – and elsewhere.

74 thoughts on “A New Leaf: Lou Lamoriello Leaves Devils, Named GM In Toronto

  1. I really don’t get it. Lou’s resume is stellar, but over the last 8 years…not so much. He had one fluke finals run a few years and Jersey with an old team and no solid prospects.

  2. Toronto is just sick of losing, and with the deepest pockets in the NHL likely threw a sick amount of money at Lou. The bigger question is can he still put together a winner? New Jersey has fallen hard since their trip in the finals in 2011.

  3. Whats next? Can Kovalchuck be far behind?

    Some real cred there and serious realignment for a franchise that has taken so many wrong turns that it is lost in the wilderness. Lou/Babcock pretty formidable and big names for sure. We shall see whats shakes out of Toronto now.

  4. For most of the past 40 years we have been able to laugh at the Leafs as a sad sack organization with leadership that had no idea what they were trying to do. This could be a life altering change – or as in the past – impatient ownership will interfere and the pattern of history will be maintained.

  5. It takes a lot more than good management and coaching to make a winner. Scouting and a lot of luck with draft picks/signings makes a lot of difference. Babcock and Holland last won in 2003. That’s two good people that haven’t had much luck in the “what have you done for me lately” category.

  6. Yes I believe the “flood gates” as Tab put it will open in Toronto and we will see a ping pong effect throughout the league. This is going to be very interesting.

  7. “Babcock and Holland last won in 2003”

    Of course, when pucklogic typed 2003 he meant 2008. Of course….

    2003 was the last time the Devils won the Cup, and Bowman was the coach in DET in 2002.

  8. Toronto gave New Jersey a 3rd rd pick for compensation. Does Toronto have any 3rds left? They gave a 3rd for Babcock and now a 3rd for Lou (who I don’t think I’d want anyway).

  9. Hi Lou. Would you be interested in a power forward who can hit and can stay in front of the net? How about a speedy RW who plays smart and had a +11 last season? Both are Stanley Cup winners, in good health, and they will provide leadership to your young players. We would like to keep them but we are over our cap. Give us a couple of middle rounders and we can call it a deal.

  10. MM: You are correct. Versteeg was traded to the Leafs after the Hawks won the Cup in 2010. I just looked this up and Versteeg was part of a 5-player deal in which the Hawks received Victor Stalberg. The other three players did not end up in the NHL.

  11. So the Leafs finally get there man. During the Draft and free agency shows many announcers commented on how Liu seemed very uncomfortable to only be the Devuls President and not calling all the shots.
    This should open up the log jam for trades and player signings once Lou gets the ball rolling in Toronto.
    Tbis, in my opinion is great news for the Hawks.

  12. I can just picture Shanahan, Lamoriello, and Babcock lurking over a computer superimposing Steve Stamkos on a Leaf jersey.

  13. Bickell is a remote possibilty/destination for the Leafs…he is from the area (Bowmanville, part of the greater Toronto area ). Fans would love him until they hate him. Everyone deserves a second chance right?

  14. Thanks for correcting my typo Tab, typoz happin all teh tyme. I suppose if you’re a Leaf fan 2008 isn’t that long ago and you’d hope that the Babcock magic comes back. I’m not sure Lamoriello is up to the job. Toronto fans tend to be tough on management and at his age, why would he put up with it.


    for a boatload of cash to jump into like Scrooge Mcduck and Brandon Saad!

  16. Something seems strange about bringing in the 72 year old Lamoriello to help lead the turn-around of the Leafs which is bound to take some time in the best of circumstances.

  17. Didn’t an old guy help turn the Hawks around? He and Scotty can talk about potential trades in the bathroom at NHL meetings, as well as their prostate problems.

  18. Mining Man, I think the Leafs would love to have Bickell (as long as the Hawks ate $3.2M of his contract for each of the next two years). As for “second chances,” that should be Bickell’s nickname.

  19. Reggie, I would think that would be a bad move for the Hawks to have to pay 80% of Bickell’s salary to move him. If anyone remembers he was leading the Hawks with hits in the Stanley Cup playoffs before he was sidelined with vertigo.

  20. Keith, I agree. I was trying to make an ironic joke. I think Stan would rather have his appendix taken out without anesthesia than make a deal like that.

  21. Anyone know what happens if nobody makes an offer to Kruger and the hawks don’t come to terms with him. I realize that end game scenario is not realistic, but I think it’s relevant to who has better leverage in negotiations as time goes by.

  22. At this point, Pete, Kruger’s leverage would have to be diminishing by the day. I still think a deal gets done to keep him in Chicago, but the Hawks need to move one of Bickell and/or Versteeg to make room. Now that Toronto has a GM in place the dam can finally break

  23. Toronto is the richest team in the NHL and sick of losing. So they are installing a front office and coaching staff dream team. I like it. Successful hockey in Toronto is great for the NHL.

  24. Toronto trying to win now or are they rebuilding from the ground up? Sometimes you have to get worse in the near term to get better in the long term

  25. Getting rid of a top 5 goal scorer in Kessel regardless of any attitude issues, should tell you what path they’re going. If Toronto wants to take on a Bickell type, you can expect a fairly decent prospect going with. He has little to no value on a team that isn’t expecting to make the playoffs before the contract expires.

  26. Since Kruger rejected the offer with the assumption he’d get more on a longer term I think he’s playing the good soldier. If the Hawks use that as leverage I think it may annoy the player and player agent. I think a contract has been agreed to. But the Hawks can’t sign him until they know they can move someone.

    Eventually Kruger can’t keep waiting and some playoff hopeful will see his value and send an offer sheet his way…if they haven’t already. Eventually Kruger would sign, then it would be up to Stan if he can match.

  27. “Read- somewhere- that Lou loves Crow!!!” ……. Wall, your thoughts are your prayers!

  28. Off-topic, but does anybody know when/how the vacated A will be designated? My feeling is it’s Kruger’s if they get him, Hossa or Kane if not. Love to see it on Shaw though too. Can it be on 2 D men?

  29. Second A won’t go to Seabrook. Not with this upcoming season very likely his last in Chicago. I’m going to guess it goes to Hjalmarsson or Kruger if the later returns.

  30. It goes to Seabrook. Regardless of what happens to him in the future. Whenever 19 or 2 went down Seabrook got the A. He’s one of the very few guys that can and will tell 19 to cool it when he needed to.

  31. Am puzzled why Versteeg can’t be moved. He had a decent season, is in good health, and has a modest cap hit. Can anyone explain?

  32. Reggie, I just had my appendix out…with anesthesia. Funny you brought it up. Post-op pain was far worse than pre-op.

  33. Original 6, perhaps he could be moved and Stan is reluctant to move him. He’d rather move the guy with the higher cap hit for longer term with less production. Moving Versteeg is probably his last option…like moving Johns.

  34. Ernie, your comment that “since Kruger rejected the offer” leads me to ask what you’re referring to? How do you know Kruger rejected an offer? I haven’t heard/read anything of the sort. I believe Stan is waiting to sign Kruger so that when he does so he isn’t further backed into the Cap corner – in other words he wants to clear enough cap room so Kruger’s deal doesn’t push him back over the Cap. Seems like a good approach to me.

  35. Yes, good question Ebony, did we miss something? Hey Ernie, post op you gotta take it easy, go slow. I’m sure you know that. Hope all is going well for you.

    There really are a lot of teams that have made very minor tweaks only and I sort of get the feeling everyone is playing it real close to the vest. 14 teams did not make the playoffs and a few of those are obviously going to this time around which means some that did will not. Not everyone can be rebuilding so trades are coming. If the strategy was to wait it out and pick up bargains late well that just won’t work if everyone does it! Therefore…big things are going to happen yet!

  36. It’s kind of interesting that if Bickell and Versteig go then none of the starting left wingers from opening day last year would be on the team this year. It’s just the Hawks have too many forwards and need to go younger and cheaper on their left wings. Oh and just my two cents but I think the top 3 forward lines will be improved this year. The third line sucked even though Q tried both Saad and Sharp on it and it never really got going until the playoffs with Vermette picking his game up. A second year for TT put together with Dano on the 3rd line may be to hot to handle for a lot of teams and they may have better skill level than many teams top 6 forwards. First line may be better with Panarin at left wing. Even though Saad was pretty flash at times I think Panarin may have a better two way game. Oh…. and I think Kane will have a monster season playing alongside a big center (Anisimov) that can go to the net.

  37. I was referring to the qualifying offer. Hawks had to submit a qualifying offer to retain his rights otherwise he would have been a UFA. Since he made over 1 million, the qualifying offer would have been at minimum 100% of his 14/15 salary. Of course he’s going to reject that. If the Hawks don’t submit it hes a UFA.

    Sorry, should have clarified. I was back at work Wednesday last week, obviously desk duty. No lifting anything over 20 pounds for 4 weeks. Almost no pain now. If Adam Dunn was back in the lineup after 6 days why not me. Lol

  38. Ernie – gotcha. I thought I missed some news that would indicate Kruger and the Hawks were not in sync.

  39. All good. But going off of that, I just realized Nordstrom had to reject the qualifying offer as well. His qualifying offer would have been .693. For a guy that’s played 54 games with 6 points, kind of surprised he didn’t accept. How much more does he think he’s worth?

  40. Ernie, I’m also mystified by the Nordstrom situation. Stan says he wants to re-sign him. Either this is a gambit that GMs play with each other or Nordstrom has embarrassing photos of Stan from the Blackhawks post-cup victory party.

  41. Ernie, hope you are recovering well. Regarding Versteeg, there is a lot of time left to sign Kruger, so SB is exercising patience about clearing cap space for him. Regarding Bickell, it looks like his vertigo has been cured. I think the Hawks will be able to move him with a non-key prospect or lower-round pick. Arizona is a possible destination. Which means Kruger gets signed and Shaw stays. (Nordstrom?)

    Hawks are going to be better up front next year.

  42. Nordstrom was the captain down in Rockford and he’s serviceable depth in case of injuries, particularly on the 4th line. He won’t be expensive regardless.

    As for Orig. 6’s question about why Versteeg hasn’t been moved yet … patience. Things are still getting settled across the league like arbitration hearings and such. This affects how much money teams have to work with and slows down the trade market, which has a tendency to go on hiatus this time of year anyway.

    Some of these moves will be made in September or like Leddy’s trade first week of October just before the season. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t necessarily mean there’s zero market, despite what you may hear on this board.

  43. Habs scoop/sign Semin for 1.1 Million one year…ya OK…meh. Hope he scores more than 8 goals or 6 or whatever it was.

  44. Semin is a mystery, but like other signings at low cost, it’s a can’t lose proposition for MTL. He has elite skills so maybe he thrives in a new environment where his team is a contender rather than a bottom feeder like Carolina has been. A $1.1M gamble on a player with his abilities is a good gamble.

  45. Excellent point Hof. So fans people want transactions and player movement every day/week. And for the most part we’ve had that since June 30.

    Teams like Toronto and Ottawa would seem to be a fit for Bickell, as we get closer to camp in 2 months.

    My guess is Versteeg stays because Q likes to move him up and down the lineup + he plays well with Kane.

    Interesting that Lou Lamoriello is at the top of this thread. He once said that as a General Manager if you have time to make a decision you should take all the time allotted. He believes as a manager that leads to the best, well thought out decision. I believe Stan adheres to this theory as well.

  46. Wall, thoughts on the Holtby extension? Cap hit $6.1M over five years.
    Goalies gonna get paid I guess …

  47. Arizona is above the floor. With them acquiring Pronger’s contract they have no need for a Bryan Bickell. This offseason has been an odd one for Arizona and Maloney has made a couple head scratchers. I get wanting to win. I get wanting to be bad to win. I do not get signing Vermette. I don’t get trading your most productive forward points wise for Nicklaa Grossman and Pronger’s contract. Pay Pronger 500k to not play just to use his cap hit as filler. Signing Michalek, Richardson,and Downie… Those are moves made by teams to shore up depth areas. Moves made by teams with playoff aspirations. Arizona knows thats not them, yet made the deals anyway. I guess they enjoy being in the doldrums of mediocrity.

  48. Looks like Stanton replaces Schilling in Washington. Obviously Hawks were not interested in bringing Stanton back to compete for the 7th defenseman spot.

    I have a feeling schilling, gusty and Svedberg will be the 3 candidates for the 7th spot. I just can’t see Stan and company giving Rundblad 1 million per year to sit in the press box. Add to that Stans remarks that Rundblad will have a bigger role this upcoming season.

  49. jj over at hockeybuzz is reporting he hears the Hawks are shopping Shaw. So, even though there may not be a shred of truth to it or even if it’s true it doesn’t mean Shaw will actually get traded. But … I put 2 and 2 together and end up with Shaw’s cap hit won;t free up enough Cap space to re-sign Kruger, let alone re-sign Kruger AND add a depth d-man. So that leads be to think there is a possibility that both Shaw and Kruger will not be on the team … all because Bickell is still on the team.

    So I’m fit for a rant just thinking about that possibility. If Stan ends up not being able to trade Bickell and it costs the Hawks Kruger and Shaw – it will be a major failure on his part. And it will hurt the Hawks chances to win the Cup next season. I’ve been in Stan’s corner from Day#1 and this is all just speculation at this time – but … BUT! He had a chance to buy him out – didn’t do it. He had more teams to trade with in late June and early July before those teams made other deals – he didn’t get it done.

    I shouldn’t be this worked up by something that hasn’t happened yet and may not happen – but damn it I’m pissed off.

    OK … I feel better now. Thank you for indulging me.

  50. Surely it won’t come down to that Ebony…Can Bickell be sent down ala Mike Richards and will it do us any good to do so? Can he go on LTIR? I trust Bowman and Q tyo do the right thing.

  51. No worries Ebony. Chris Kuc is. Tweeting that #16 is willing to take a short term deal to help out his team. Gotta love the guy. His new line mate did the same (#11)
    Also, in Stan I trust. Shaw will be there as well, somehow, someway.

    Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc
    Marcus Kruger waiting for #Blackhawks to clear cap space in hopes of longer deal. If no room by later in August, will take short-term deal.
    12:26 PM – 27 Jul 2015
    117 117 Retweets 113 113 favorites

  52. He wouldn’t gain that much cap space if he was sent down and I doubt he would accept being LTIR’d very kindly as that usually means the end of a career.

    My proposal, it would only gain 1.35 in cap space but its better than nothing.

    Bickell for Doan at half retained. Doan is up after the year so you’d lose the extra year.

  53. Found a sight explaining the new CBA rules and buried players. They conveniently used Bickell as an example.

    The Chicago Blackhawks demote Bryan Bickell to the AHL during the 2015-16 season.  Bickell carries a $4.0 million AAV.  The Blackhawks would still have $3.05 million counting against their Averaged Club Salary total for the period Bickell is in the minors

  54. Yeah – burying a player doesn’t work anymore. The CBA effectively makes it a Zero gain because the $950K you would save off the buried player’s cap hit would be about the same it would cost to replace the buried player on the roster with someone making under $1M.

  55. Have you guys seen the twitter picture Dano sent out (I would post it but have no idea how or if a picture can be posted here) – but the link is below. It’s a picture of a bunch of Slovaks, including Dano (squatting on the left), Hossa (middle with shades on his forehead) along with Gaborik, Tatar, Kopecky and several other guys I don’t know. The point to note is – look at Dano. Look at his size. He makes the rest of them look like 98 pound weaklings. The guy is going to be a beast!!!!


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