Case Against Lou
There are three arguments that can be made against Lou being named as a finalist for the award.
Not His Team
The first case against Lou is that he didn’t build the Islanders. This team is largely built on the efforts of his predecessor Garth Snow. That’s true, only five of the 23 active roster players were brought in by Lou Lamoriello.
But there’s only so much a GM can do in his first year to the roster. Garth was in the Isles seat for 12 years, that’s a lot of draft picks, trade deadlines, and free agency spending. Undoing that is going to take some time.
Lou still added where he wanted to add. He got players that he could trust and that would do the job he envisioned they needed to do to be successful. And they were.
Lou didn’t bring in a single player at the trade deadline, even though the Islanders top six was objectively weak. It’s a fair criticism to make. He tried to add players like Stone and Duchene, but he didn’t want to meet the price the Ottawa Senators were demanding.
That’s fine. But as Matt and I discussed in our Patreon Summer Series podcast on the trade deadline, there were other moves he could have made. Moves where the price could have been palpable for the Isles new GM.
His trade deadline activity is a fair knock on his case for the award.
Other GM Having a Good Case
Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks has a strong case. He traded for arguably the best defenseman in the league in Erik Karlsson to join Brent Burns, who is also arguably the best defenseman in the league. And it didn’t cost him that much (it was a lot but Karlsson should have cost more). And he was able to flip Mike Hoffman for more than he was worth. Incredible GM’ing right there.