Toronto Maple Leafs: Will Lou Lamoriello return next season?

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello attends the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello attends the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Sportsnet provided an update on Lou Lamoriello’s contract situation on Saturday, but will he be back as general manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs next season?

Things are going extremely well for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the moment, with them entering Monday’s slate of games sitting second in the Eastern Conference. However, there’s always one eye on the future, whether it be the team, fans or media.

With this in mind, Sportsnet‘s Nick Kypreos provided an update on Saturday night regarding Lou Lamoriello, whose contract expires after this campaign. The update was provided during a segment on Hockey Night in Canada.

Kypreos advised there have been no significant negotiations with Lamoriello, in respect of agreeing a new deal for him to return as general manager next season. At the moment, the Leafs’ focus is on making the team better, specifically in the win-loss column.

The feeling from Kypreos is there is no reason to be concerned about this situation…yet. As reported by Sportnet, the hockey analyst and former player said:

"“I’m certainly not here to suggest that Lou Lamoriello will not sign … but I will tell you that the longer he goes without us hearing about an announcement, the more speculation (media) will have.”"

In reality, none of what Kypreos said, should come as much — if any — surprise. With the season well underway, it makes sense that matters on the ice take precedent at this stage.

The comment about speculation increasing is amusing in itself, as Lamoriello is renowned for keeping his cards close to his chest. This is something the Leafs’ front office has embraced, meaning the media will have to rely on speculation to keep this story going.

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At the risk of entering into said speculation, the options appear to be clear. Either the 75-year-old signs a new GM contract, takes up another position or retires.

Without any inside information, we believe the latter option is the least likely, as Lamoriello’s age is no concern whatsoever. As reported by Sportsnet‘s Chris Johnston back in September, Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan raved about the GM’s energy levels, despite 30 years in the position.

The long-held belief is Mark Hunter or Kyle Dubas will eventually replace the former New Jersey Devils GM, whenever that is. However, there is some concern if this doesn’t happen soon, Hunter and/or Dubas may leave Toronto for a GM position elsewhere.

Ultimately, we have to ask why Lamoriello would want to leave the Toronto Maple Leafs at this stage, just as everything seems to (finally) be coming together. Our best bet is he will sign a contract extension to remain as GM for one of two years.

Just don’t expect to hear much about a decision anytime between now and the end of the 2017/18 season. Unless it’s from the media of course.

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What’s your take on the latest information regarding Lamoriello? Further, do you see him returning as GM next season, will the Leafs place him in another role or do you believe he will retire? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.