Go­ing with ex­pe­ri­ence

Maple Leafs hire long­time Devils ex­ec­u­tive Lou Lamor­iello as gen­eral man­ager

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY STEPHEN WHYNO

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.

CP PHOTO

New Toronto Maple Leafs gen­eral man­ager Lou Lamor­iello smiles dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Thurs­day in Toronto.

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