According to a report yesterday from The Athletic’s Arthur Staple, former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello has left or will leave the Leafs organization for a position with the New York Islanders.
It’s expected that Lamoriello will be hired either as president of hockey operations, general manager or both positions. Where this leaves long time GM Garth Snow is anyone’s guess.
According to Staple, “now it’s a matter of when and not if”. Staple also goes on to say that Lamoriello will be “fully in charge” within his new role, so again it remains to be seen how this affect’s Snow’s future with the team. The former backup goalie turned GM has been at the helm in Long Island for 12 seasons now.
With critical negotiations to take place between the team and superstar captain John Tavares over the next two months, it appears as though Islanders co-owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky have elected to bring in a veteran negotiator like Lamoriello to get the job done. Snow has tried unsuccessfully for over a calendar year to get an extension with Tavares done. Now it’s expected that that responsibility will fall to Lamoriello.
And, wouldn’t you know it… Lou’s hard at work already. Early reports indicate that Lamoriello and Tavares met last week to discuss the future of the team and try to find some middle ground on negotiations.
The meeting with Tavares last week was a clear sign that Islanders co-owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are still heavily invested in keeping their star and captain. Putting Lamoriello, a three-time Stanley Cup winner during his historic tenure with the Devils, at the top of the front office adds a level of credibility that can only help the team’s chances of retaining Tavares, who has been craving that sort of respectability for the organization.
Leafs assistant general manager Mark Hunter has also officially left the team according to the Leafs’ official PR account:
Hunter served as the Leafs' assistant GM, alongside Kyle Dubas, underneath Lamoriello. Dubas, of course, was unveiled as the team's new GM just over a week ago leaving fans and media wondering what the next steps for Lamoriello and Hunter might be. After today's news, the picture gets clearer. With Lamoriello and Hunter now officially moving on, it remains to be seen what other changes president Brendan Shanahan and GM Dubas have in store for the new look Leafs front office.