Shocker: Lou Lamoriello leaves Devils, joins Maple Leafs as GM

The slow hockey offseason was broken up yesterday by the shocking announcement that Lou Lamoriello had resigned as President of the Devils and became the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Digging deeper, it isn’t quite so far-fetched as Lamoriello had a long history with Leafs President Brendan Shanahan.

The Devils will receive a 3rd round pick in exchange for Lamoriello.

It didn’t take long for the twitterverse to respond:

But we do think this will be a good fit.  His history with Shanahan will make for strong chemistry.  Without it, we would be more concerned about the fit of Old School Lou with the newer blood in Toronto.

The Devils were very gracious in their official announcement:

“Lou Lamoriello created and defined what it meant to be a New Jersey Devil,” said Harris. “His brilliance in shaping this franchise into one of the most storied and celebrated organizations in sport will make him a New Jersey Devil for life. He represented this organization, our current and former players, the state of New Jersey, and the greatest fans in the National Hockey League in a manner that exemplified character, class, and dignity.

“Lou’s record on the ice speaks for itself and as amazing as it is, it pales in comparison to his record as a human being. His passion, integrity and leadership over the last 28 years impacted the lives of thousands, creating a lasting legacy. I have been honored to have worked with Lou over the last two years and I will forever consider it a privilege.”

“On behalf of my family and the entire organization, we thank Lou for creating some of the most cherished moments for our fans,” added Blitzer. “His stewardship and guidance through championships and challenging times for this franchise have inspired generations and impacted the lives of many. We will be forever grateful for his contributions and we wish him all the best

Toronto’s Pension Plan Puppets are a bit apprehensive as shared in this podcast:

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty apprehensive about the Leafs signing Lou Lamoriello to be the new GM of this team.

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy believes it will be a good fit:

The question with this hiring for Toronto: Does Lou still have it? Can he lead a long-term rebuild of this franchise, when his last years with the Devils were less about reloading than scratching and clawing at relevancy? Can a GM whose best years have certainly not been under the NHL’s salary cap work with the Leafs’ heralded analytics department to make the Leafs Cup contenders?

We’d say “yes” because It’s still Shanahan’s show in Toronto. Lamoriello won’t wield the same power as he did in Jersey.

One of Shanahan’s greatest virtues as a novice executive was his ability to surround himself with the best people to make his operations successful. It’s what he did in the NHL Department of Player Safety, the job that earned him the Leafs one. It was expected he’d do the same in Toronto.

He arrived with Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis as his coach and GM.

He enters 2015-16 with Mike Babcock and Lou Lamoriello as his coach and GM.

Let it never be said Shanahan hasn’t met that expectation.

Just one more reason to be interested in Toronto this season and beyond.

Image courtesy of Jesse Spector.

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