Ex-GM Lamoriello made future deals possible for Leafs
Where would the Maple Leafs be today without Lou Lamoriello?
In trouble, it says here. Especially financially.
Lamoriello didn’t just trade for Frederik Andersen in his time as general manager of the Leafs, but he immediately signed him to a longterm contract. Andersen is being paid $5 million a season and is signed up for two more seasons after this one. Right now, he is the 17th-highest paid goalie in the league and, arguably, a top-five netminder.
Morgan Rielly is considered a Norris Trophy candidate this season. He is signed up for three more seasons with a cap hit of $5 million per season, a deal done by Lamoriello at the end of his first year as Leafs GM. He is the 49th highest-paid defenceman in the NHL today. By the time his contract expires, he’ll likely be nowhere near the top 60 in salary.
The same is true of the deal Nazem Kadri signed on the same April day that Rielly put his pen to paper. Kadri is signed for three years after this one, at a salary cap hit of $4.5 million per season. Among centres, he ranks 65th in the NHL in salary. Among all forwards, he ranks just 128th in pay. His value to the Leafs is extreme.
But as David Poile has proven in Nashville year after year, doing it better than anyone, the projection contract — signing a player to what you think he’s going to be worth before he hits that value — is necessary for success.
Lamoriello did that wonderfully well with the Leafs, setting up their future which will enable the huge money deals to kick in.