Maple Leafs say Lou Lamoriello will not return as GM next season
01 May, 2018, 06:43 | Author: Felix Jensen
The possibility of Lou Lamoriello leaving Toronto to save the Islanders is now even more relevant after the Maple Leafs announced on Monday that the Hall of Fame executive would not return for a fourth season as general manager. He is expected to transition to being a senior advisor.
"Three years ago, Lou and I agreed on a contract that would see him serve as general manager of the Maple Leafs for three years and then transition to senior adviser for the following four years", team president Brendan Shanahan said in a statement.
But with the expiration of his contract, the Maple Leafs chose not to bring him back in that role, which offered a glimmer of hope for the New York Islanders.
Under Lamoriello's guidance, the Maple Leafs went 118-95-33 over the last three seasons.
Lamoriello's son, Chris, has been the Islanders' assistant GM since August 2016.
Shanahan adds that he will now focus all of his attention towards making a decision regarding the team's next general manager.
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"I wish I could give you that answer", Lamoriello said.
And the impact Lamoriello has had on the Leafs in such a relatively short period of time will resonate for far longer, both on and off the ice. "I haven't given it any thought".
In Lamoriello's three seasons in charge, the Leafs made the playoffs the last two seasons, the first time the club had advanced to the post-season in consecutive years since 2002 and 2003.
Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri are the only two National Hockey League centres now under contract with the Leafs for 2018-19. "Lou Lamoriello's influence on everyone (in Toronto) will felt for a long time". Lamoriello had served in the role since July of 2015, when Shanahan hired him away from the New Jersey Devils to help Toronto grow into the Stanley Cup contender it is today.
While it was "absolutely" hard for Shanahan to decide a new GM was needed, he was also adamant their evolving relationship is well preserved despite the shift. "Over the past three years to have the opportunity to travel and have several conversations, you get to know the man on a different level".
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