NY Islanders News

Islanders: 3 Misconceptions about GM Lou Lamoriello

Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Auston Matthews, Lou Lamoriello
2016 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Misconception #3: Lamoriello hates the young guys.

This idea was immediately cleared up in the same press conference on May 9th, or it at least for fans should have been.

It was clear to Lou that he had to make a move at the coaching position after he saw the disconnect between Trotz, who favored veterans playing big minutes, and the younger players who deserved more time and responsibility on the ice.

Players like Mathew Barzal, Oliver Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows, and Anthony Beauvillier all were sheltered from playing the game they are best at while Trotz was at the helm, and there's reason to expect they get much more time next season with a different voice to respond to. Lou cares about his young players especially when he drafts them, those are "his guys," and they love him back too.

In another instance of "people don't remember when," Lamoriello as mentioned before was tasked with completely rebuilding the Maple Leafs team when he got there. He saw that in order to succeed he needed a key piece to build around, So what did he do? He saw he needed to get a lottery pick and select a future superstar, which came to fruition when they selected Auston Matthews 1st overall in 2016.

For him, "Tanking" wasn't as easy as just saying the Maple Leafs were just simply bad that year. He made sure that they got rid of players that did not fit their timeline, such as their captain Dion Phaneuf during the 2016-17 season. If everyone used their idea of Lou and his teams' play styles, then doesn't Phaneuf sound like a prototypical player in a Lou-run organization?

Players such as Phaneuf, and before that Phil Kessel, had to go because he knew that the first step in their rebuild was having his young players take a big step by moving up the lineup and getting a chance to shine. And it worked out that year, with Toronto making the playoffs during Matthews' rookie season, a very unexpected result to say the least.

That's just what Lou Lamoriello does, though. He knows what he needs to do for his franchise to make them better and win. Sure, there are always seasons where his team does not make the playoffs, albeit rare, but he will always do what is best for the franchise moving forward.

How many times can lifelong Devils fans say they had a bad team put out there on the ice that didn't compete in the playoffs? Not many. Toronto also found almost immediate success once he got there as well, for a franchise that had almost none for about 10 years before Lou's arrival. So to all of the Islander fans that are panicking because of the first missed playoffs under the Lamoriello regime, don't worry, they could be back as early as next season, but you shouldn't give up on arguably the smartest GM in hockey history.

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