Former Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Lou Lamoriello is reportedly jumping ship to New York, and he’s already sat down with Islanders captain John Tavares
Lou Lamoriello’s tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs has reportedly come to an end.
Sources confirmed a report to The Athletic‘s Arthur Staple on Monday, that the 75-year-old executive will be heading to the New York Islanders organization to assume a role as the team’s president of hockey operations sometime later this week.
Staple also revealed that while Lamoriello will assume this position, it is not clear yet whether he will also become the General Manager of the team.
"“Where this leaves (Garth) Snow, the Isles GM for the previous 12 seasons, is unclear. He and head coach Doug Weight arrived back on Long Island on Monday after spending last week at the World Championships along with Eric Cairns, director of player development, and other front-office staffers. Snow’s contract runs for at least four more years with a steep buyout clause.”"
Later in the day, Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman spoke on a meeting that Lamoriello had last week with current Islanders captain and pending unrestricted-free-agent John Tavares.
While some members of the hockey community will point to this as collusion by the former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Friedman also reported that the meeting took place with Lamoriello representing the Islanders organization.
Much has been made of Tavares’ future with the Islanders, after being drafted first overall in 2009. The 27-year-old native of Mississauga, Ontario has only made the playoffs in three of his first nine years in the NHL, and never made a clear statement that he would undoubtedly be back in Brooklyn come next season.
It has always seemed like Tavares was going to test his value on the open market this summer, and he will be the top commodity by far if he doesn’t re-up with the Islanders.
While it’s a pipe dream, to say the least, that the Maple Leafs would be able to land the hometown kid if he was available on July 1, it would be hard to see why any team wouldn’t make a pitch to the superstar centre.
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Now that Lamoriello is set to jump ship, he will be looking to get a deal done with New York’s biggest asset as soon as possible. To lose him for nothing would be a massive blow to a team that is looking to become a contender in the Eastern Conference sooner than later.
Lamoriello is expected to join an Islanders front office that features his son, Chris, who serves as an assistant general manager for the team. Staple said it is unclear whether the former Leafs GM will be bringing anyone along with him from the Buds organization.
After the Leafs had to pay third round picks for both Lamoriello and Mike Babcock ahead of the 2015-16 season, the league did away with the compensation rule for executives.
With this in mind, as long as the Leafs gave permission for the Islanders to speak with a member of the front office, New York could take who they want to have with Lamoriello in their own front office.
One thing is for sure: the beards will be shaved, and the numbers will be low. The Isles are playing under Lou’s rules now.