Going with experience
Maple Leafs hire longtime Devils executive Lou Lamoriello as general manager
Brendan Shanahan’s newschool Toronto Maple Leafs front office built on his philosophy of differing viewpoints has a new voice, and this one comes with some 30 years of NHL experience.
Shanahan, who’s a year into his duties as team president, believes new general manager Lou Lamoriello “will fit in very, very well and be an incredible boost” to what the Leafs are trying to accomplish.
Shanahan went looking for experience to join Kyle Dubas, Mark Hunter and Brandon Pridham in management, and no one has more than Lamoriello.
“If I could map out or draw out a description of the kind of person that we wanted, it would be Lou,” Shanahan told a news conference Thursday. “I’ve always thought that there are certain advantages to hiring people on their way up that are looking to prove themselves and have that sort of hunger and energy to make a name for themselves. But I do think that we were lacking in some experience.”
In charge of the New Jersey Devils since 1987, the 72-yearold Lamoriello was the longestserving GM in NHL history.
Along the way, his teams won the Stanley Cup three times, a pedigree he brings to the Leafs, who are trying to build a championship contender.
Lamoriello becomes the oldschool GM working under the Hall of Fame player and overseeing assistants Hunter, Dubas and Pridham, also NHL management rookies.
He’ll also work with coach Mike Babcock, who’s signed for eight years and US$50 million and has committed to a longrange plan for success.
Although Lamoriello said he was told he’d have autonomy as GM, Shanahan made it clear in conversations “the kind of environment and organization” of collaboration he was building. Lamoriello is OK with Shanahan not wearing a tie to work every day and might have to let Hunter keep his facial hair, and he’s fine with sharing decisionmaking responsibilities.
“No one makes any decision without consulting the people that are around them and their supporting staff,” Lamoriello said. “Everybody works together. They don’t work for each other. Everybody will be part of every process.”
Since taking over, Shanahan fired several assistant coaches, executives and scouts, Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis and presided over the trade of Phil Kessel to the Penguins.
New Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello smiles during a news conference Thursday in Toronto.