In this morning’s Eastern Conference Morning Papers, Kevin Paul Dupont wrote about Lou Lamoriello’s career that found him being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last night:
Considered an NHL outsider, and therefore a bit of a quirky fit when hired away from Providence in 1987 by then-Devils owner John McMullen, the Rhode Island born and raised Lamoriello turned a league laughingstock into one of the game’s most durable, consistent performers, almost perennially in the hunt to win the Cup. Long gone are the days when the Devils, now the pride of a downtown Newark renaissance, were the sorrowful, faceless vagabonds (nee Kansas City Chiefs) plopped at the side of Exit 16W on the New Jersey Turnpike. Dubbed a “Mickey Mouse’’ franchise by superstar Wayne Gretzky in the 1983-84 season – immediately following a 13-4 pasting by Gretzky and his Edmonton Oilers – the Devils under Lamoriello have become a standard for both professionalism and performance.
Read the entire article here.
Part of the reason I chose this article for my Morning Papers Take is because it is just that good. Dupont is one of the top writers in the business and he writes a tremendous piece detailing Lou Lamoriello’s rise to prominence in the NHL. Dupont explains that Lamoriello always did things the right way and still does until this day. The fact is, he has taken a struggling franchise and formed it into a perennial Stanley Cup Contender for approximately the last twenty years. Think about it; when was the last time the Devils were considered a bad team? It really has been that long.
When people said the team wouldn’t be the same without Niedermayer or Stevens, the Devils just kept trucking along. I bet you most hardcore hockey fans couldn’t name the Devils top six defense corps right now. The thing is, no matter the names, Lamoriello always has a coach in charge that pays attention to detail and always assembles a roster that is smart and hard working.
Another thing to take into account is Lamoriello’s penchant to stay away from free agency. How many of his acquisitions were big free agent signings? I can’t think of any off the top of my head. His core players were always drafted or traded for. Obviously credit is due to David Conte on the drafting side but Lamoriello rarely loses a trade.
Lou Lamoriello has been the king of GM castle for some time now and according to the morning papers, he isn’t planning on calling it a career anytime soon. I’m sure Devils fans are quite thankful for that but hockey fans should be too.