NY Islanders News

Islanders: 3 Misconceptions about GM Lou Lamoriello

Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Lou Lamoriello, Mike Babcock
2019 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Misconception #2: That Lamoriello forces his teams to play a strict defensive scheme.

This idea usually starts and ends with the phrase "The Trap," New Jersey's infamous playing style in the early 90's that absolutely stressed team defense and shutting opponents down in the neutral zone.

There should be more credit given to Jacques Lemaire when it comes to this style, who coached the Devils to their 1995 Stanley Cup victory. He even carried this strict style to the newly expanded Minnesota Wild in the early 2000s, which was lacking in star power but was a very tough team to play against.

Sure, this was synonymous with Lamoriello and the entire Devils' identity even after Lemaire, but it did bring them continued success with championships. This playing style did not last nearly as long as people thought it did, however. In fact, their lower-scoring seasons have come much more recently since Lou left the Devils' front office in 2015, and look how they have been doing since.

After he left the Devils he became the new GM of the Maple Leafs, where he was tasked to rebuild and catch up with the new-age style of hockey focusing on speed and skill. He did exactly that, and during most of this era, the Maple Leafs were not a very good defensive team, but rather focused on offense and scoring. That has continued into the type of team the Leafs have today, all with fingerprints of Lamoriello's time with the franchise.

It almost feels like people forgot all about his Maple Leafs stint, and only think about what he's doing now with the Islanders. The defensive style we have seen by the Islanders over the past four years is definitely influenced by Lou. That is not being denied, but that is not a one-man job either.

Barry Trotz also had a lot to do with that. He is great with getting the best out of veteran players, and playing a tight-checking game that produces wins with fewer goals and skill provided on a nightly basis. That's why he won a Jack Adams award.

Now Trotz is without a job in the NHL, mainly due to personal choice, but Lou in that same press conference, while talking about the team's direction, mentioned that he himself wants more offense, and not to feel forced to play a game that relies so heavily on the bottom of the lineup to play in such important roles.

So, with Lane Lambert at the helm, we could see a change in play style come next season, and possibly a different approach in bringing new players to the team.

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