NY Islanders ownership bringing Lou Lamoriello back is the right move

It appears that according to Newsday’s Andrew Gross, ownership of the New York Islanders will bring back Lou Lamoriello for a new three-year contract. Bringing Lamoriello in charge of hockey operations is the right move for the Islanders.

Right hit

Since the spring of 2018 when Lamoriello was hired, he has brought a lot to the organization. Beginning with his mission statement, he brought that the Islanders and the organization is about being a first, second and third team, the goals are about team success and the ultimate goal is about championships.

The players know what is expected of them because it comes from the top down and the message is crystal clear from Lamoriello. The culture Lou has established around the Islanders since taking over has earned the Blue and Orange huge respect from the hockey world, especially league players. We have seen direct evidence of this which began with Barry Trotz sign to become the head coach. Trotz isn’t coming to the Islanders if Lamoriello isn’t there.

JG Pageau And Bo Horvat extensions signed (they were months away from being unrestricted free agents) right after being traded to the island. Anders Lee, Brock Nelsonand other core members have also signed long-term with the Islanders, another indication of what Lamoriello and others have built and how far the organization has come after years of struggling to attract new players or even retain theirs.

In terms of accomplishments, you could say that aside from the Stanley Cup Dynasty team, the years under Lamoriello were the best time the franchise has had. There’s a reason Lamoriello won the General Manager of the Year award twice during his tenure.

To the nay-sayers

No one is saying Lamoriello was perfect. Lately, people have pointed to just one playoff appearance in the past two years and this year’s first-round loss, saying it’s time for a change. However, the year the Islands did not make the playoffs was largely due to Covid complications that ravaged the Islanders’ locker room.

Last season, the Isles fought, crawled and did everything they could to make the playoffs (part of the team’s DNA) and lost in a tough six-game series against the Carolina Hurricanes. THE New Jersey Devils can tell you how good the Canes are and they could very well be the Stanley Cup champions this year. Lamoriello equipped the islanders with the right pieces to be in the position they were in, such as acquiring Horvat and Pierre Engvalbut they couldn’t overcome the injuries when all was said and done.

The biggest move Lamoriello made that he might have wished he hadn’t was trade Devon Toews. Trading Towes wasn’t his plan A, but due to the salary cap collapse in the hard cap era, Jos Sakic was able to take advantage of a tough spot a few summers ago. But it was under his watch, so it falls on Lamoriello’s report card.

People will point to all the first-round picks Lamoriello has moved in the trades. Keep in mind that virtually every player he traded in those deals is still key for the Islanders. These were not lease deals and these players provided great contributions and hopefully will continue to do so in the future.

People will also point out the lack of leads that come through the pipeline and help this team. This is probably the fairest review but Lamoriello wrote Noah Dobson And Olivier Wahlstromas well as Aatu Raty in the second round of the 2021 NHL Draft, which was a key element in landing Isles Horvat. This time next year, the islands prospect pipeline could look a lot better thanks to the continued development of Matthew Maggio and William Dufour.

It’s easy to hear the crowd claiming it’s time to hire a promising young general manager and leave Lamoriello. The Toronto Maple Leafs hired such a general manager in 2018 in Kyle Dubas, at the same time Lamoriello was hired by the Islands. Meanwhile, the Isles have won six playoff series while the Leafs have won one. The Isles were built around what gets a winning team into the playoffs, while Toronto was built around star players.

Ultimately, Lamoriello brings strong attributes to a hockey organization. The owners know that, they saw how the Islanders were run before they bought the franchise. They’ve seen the difference in respect between Lamoriello’s pre and current eras, and they’re confident he’s still the right person for the job. He acquired Horvat and Engvall, he knows the Islanders need to make improvements. This has already started and should continue this summer.

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