While there is some talk between the New York Islanders and former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and current senior adviser Lou Lamoriello, there remains many questions about what role the 75-year-old executive would be looking for if he would opt to leave Toronto in favor of the Islanders. While New York still has Garth Snow holding down the general manager’s position, that means very little.
In fact, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks writes that if the team wants to bring Lamoriello in, they have only one option available to them, and that is to let him take over the franchise. Regardless of what title they choose to give him, Lamoriello will want final say over personnel decisions. And if the Islanders aren’t ready to give him that, then there is no point to meeting with him.
The scribe reminds everyone that when he took over in New Jersey in May of 1987 as team president, it only took him four months before he forced out general manager Max McNab from that same position and took over general manager duties. Don’t expect things to be any different. While he is rumored to be friends with Snow, nothing is much different now. If he wanted to stay in an advisory role, then he could stay in Toronto.
Newsday’s Andrew Gross writes that it’s logicial that ownership is likely ready to offer Lamoriello the keys to the Islanders. New York’s ownership has already said they are evaluating ways to improve the Islanders, a team that has reached the playoffs four of the last 12 years. While that doesn’t necessarily mean the team intends to fire everyone, it’s very likely the Islanders are ready to make a significant shakeup. However, Gross adds that Lamoriello is well known to make changes and things may be no different with the Islanders if he signs on.
The other hope, of course, is that these moves might be a last minute attempt to convince star center John Tavares to stay with the Islanders, rather than leave for another franchise when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in less than two months.