Lou Lamoriello will not return next season as General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Team president Brendan Shanahan says when Lamoriello was hired three years ago, the plan was Lamoriello to serve as GM for three years and then transition to senior adviser for four years. And as Shanahan said Monday, the process that began with Lamoriello joining the Leafs has unfolded exactly as planned.
Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, Lamoriello is best known for building the New Jersey Devils into a three-time Stanley Cup champion over a 28-year reign as team GM and President of Hockey Operations prior to arriving in Toronto.
Lamoriello's contract in that capacity expired after the 2017-18 campaign, and he made mention at his year-end press conference of letting the situation "take its course" without committing to a future with the team. Whether Lamoriello would remain with the Leafs in the advisor capacity wasn't made clear in the release, but he stated outright on the conference call that there are no immediate plans for him to look for work elsewhere.
Shanahan adds that he will now focus all of his attention towards making a decision regarding the team's next general manager. "My relationship and respect I have for him has only grown over time".
"It's an unknown", Lamoriello said.
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And the impact Lamoriello has had on the Leafs in such a relatively short period of time will resonate for far longer, both on and off the ice. "I haven't even given it any thought".
The former National Hockey League forward has continued to oversee Toronto's pro scouting, amateur scouting and player evaluation departments and is credited for the team's successful drafts in recent years that have seen several players graduate to the National Hockey League, including forward Mitch Marner (fourth overall in 2015), defenceman Travis Dermott (34th, 2015) and star centre Auston Matthews (No. 1 overall in 2016).
The Maple Leafs set franchise records for points (105) and wins (49) in the regular season, Auston Matthews found his scoring touch amid injury woes, and goalie Frederik Andersen set a franchise record for wins in a season with 38.
Tim Horton's That's Hockey Host Gino Reda talked to Scott MacArthur about the Leafs decision not to bring back Lou Lamoriello as Leafs GM next season.
"One of the things Lou and I talked about today and I expressed to him was how fortunate I felt", Shanahan said.