Over the weekend, Andrew Gross in Newsday that President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Lou Lamoriello is expected to be back along with head coach Lane Lambert. After player exit interviews and internal deliberation, the belief is that co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have decided to stay the course and that Lamoriello has being offered a new three-year contract.
We're still waiting for official word and could continue to wait. It's reasonable to assume that if Lamoriello has agreed to a contract extension, he views things as business as usual, and there's no need to bring attention to himself and his contract status. Still, it would be unusual if neither Lamoriello nor Lambert talk to the media at some point to reflect on the previous season.
But until it happens, there's still a chance for an unexpected outcome.
With the news of Lamoriello's likely return as a backdrop, former VP of communications for the Islanders and co-host of Hockey Night in New York, Chris Botta, polled his followers on Twitter on whether they wanted Lou back or wanted a new leadership approach for the organization after five years of everything that comes under a Lamoriello regime. The good, bad, and the silent.
Twitter polls are far from scientific, but wide margins are often indicative of a general sentiment amongst those with the same rooting interests. In Botta's poll, with 1,768 votes, over 73% of those that responded preferred new leadership over retaining Lamoriello.
Botta has been a modest critic of Lamoriello in recent seasons, respecting and acknowledging what he has done for the franchise but believing that a fresh view on roster construction, cap management, and fan communication is what the organization needs at this juncture.
I think the poll is indicative of where the fanbase is currently. Given a choice, they would be intrigued to see if was a new General Manager would do with this talented, but flawed roster. At the same time, while Lamoriello has his vocal detractors, most fans recognize that he has done much more good than bad since taking over ahead of the 2018-19 season. They may want something else after five years of Lamoriello, but also know they could still do a lot worse than the HOF hockey executive.