The Toronto Maple Leafs made a shocking and major announcement today naming former New Jersey Devils President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello the 16th GM in Maple Leafs history. The announcement came shortly after Lamoriello announced his resignation as Devils president. Since Lamoriello is still under contract with the Devils, the Leafs will be required to send a third round draft pick to New Jersey as compensation. While the announcement came as a shock to most Leafs President Brendan Shanahan admitted that conversations had be ongoing for some time after he was given permission by the Devils to do so.
Shanahan and Lamoriello have known each since Lamoriello’s first season with the Devils in 1987 when they made Shanahan the second overall pick. Shanahan noted that he learned a lot from Lamoriello over the years and despite leaving New Jersey remained very close to him.
Lamoriello comes to Toronto after a successful run with the Devils where he won three Stanley Cups, five Conference Championships and had 21 playoff appearances including 13 in a row during an NHL record 27 consecutive seasons as general manager. Lamoriello also served as general manager of the United States during the 1996 World Cup of Hockey when they won the gold medal.
Shanahan believes that Lamoriello was the best fit for the franchise not only because of their familiarity with each other but also Lamoriello’s previous experience as general manager while adding an extra level of accountability to the Leafs organization.
During his introductory press conference Lamoriello mentioned that he looks forward to the challenge ahead with the leafs and said he was glad to be in Toronto while also preaching patience much the same way new head coach Mike Babcock did during his introductory press conference.