When Lou Lamoriello was appointed as the new GM of the NY Islanders, the fanbase was prepared for brighter days with a positive outlook on the future. Lamoriello brought in Barry Trotz as head coach immediately, and despite losing John Tavares in free agency, excitement still surrounded the team.
Fast forward five years, Trotz is no longer with the team, and much of the roster remains the same, causing the initial shine of the entrusted new leader of the organization to turn to rust.
Dom Luszcczyszyn of The Athletic polled his followers, asking fans to rank their confidence in each NHL organization's front office. Users were free to answer in regards to one team or all. The results have been calculated after over 11,000 submissions, with Islanders fans being the least confident in their front office throughout the entire NHL.
“There seems to be a sense among a lot of people that follow the sport that Lou always has something up his sleeve. I really never understood it. In fact, what’s up his sleeve is usually a 6-7 year deal for a depth player that won’t age well,” said one fan of the Isles 80 year old GM.
The poll consisted of six categories: Roster building, cap management, draft and develop, trading, free agency, vision, and total. Ranked on a scale of A through F, the Islanders front office scored a D or lower in every category aside from trading, where they earned a C-.
Since taking over, Lamoriello has put the Islanders in cap hell, with contracts that even he describes as too long and too much money. While criticism sure is deserving, it’s tough to say he and the staff he put together are the least trustworthy in the league.
Since taking over as the Isles GM, Lamoriello has put together or at least maintained a roster that made back-to-back Conference Finals. In that time, the Islanders have been playoff participants in four out of five seasons, only failing to make the postseason as the team was ravaged by COVID, with little assistance from the league in terms of postponing games as the Isles could barely field a roster.
It seems as if Lamoriello's roster is set for the upcoming season with very little turnover once again. He seems to be banking on his core players, along with the addition of Bo Horvat, and Ilya Sorokin backstopping the team to bring a glimmer to the eyes of the fans once again. As time has proven, sticking with the same roster year after year can only get you so far. This year, with the tweaks made near the 2023 trade deadline, Lamoriello hopes to put the Isles back in Stanley Cup contention once again.