It’s now been just about 48 hours since the New York Islanders announced that Lou Lamoriello was the new President of Hockey Operations.
Lamoriello said himself numerous times on Tuesday that he will evaluate everybody in the organization, but if difficult decisions need to be made, he won’t be afraid to make them. In both his tenures in New Jersey and Toronto, Lamiorello made the necessary sacrifices to build a winning culture. The Isles and their fans have been pining for massive changes to bring back a winning culture. They are finally going to get them.
Here are five changes to expect now with Lou Lamoriello running the franchise:
TEAM APPEARANCE: Starting off on a not so serious note, Lamoriello will have a certain look and impression he wants the franchise to start having. He implemented these tactics with the Devils and Leafs. No long hair, no facial hair, players in suits every time they are not on the ice. So, say goodbye to Cal Clutterbuck’s famous goatee, Nick Leddy’s caveman beard, and probably, Mathew Barzal’s wavy flow. It might upset some people with all of Lou’s rules, but the franchise will be showing a new standard of excellence they have lacked for over two-plus decades.
INJURIES: You think that the Islanders were tight-lipped on injuries under Garth Snow’s reign? Isles fans, you’re in for a whole new ballgame. Lamoriello is notorious for his teams not allowing anything to be leaked or said because it goes against his philosophy. The hope is that no one gets injured on the team. But if a player does, fans will have to use their imagination as to guess what the ailment is because, from now on, nothing is coming out.
LOYALTY: It’s been well commemorated that Lou is very loyal to his players. That’s what has made him so successful in his managerial career. But now running the Isles, and how Garth’s track record showing too much faith in certain guys, expect Lamoriello to shed a bit away from his normal philosophy. The 75-year old acknowledged already that if certain decisions need to be made, he’s not afraid to pull the trigger. With how much Lamoriello will need to fix in the organization, player loyalty will definitely be among the repairments made.
GOALTENDING: The Islanders have been searching for a number one goaltender for nearly two decades. Under Lou’s watch, the franchise will finally solve their goaltending woes. Lamoriello drafted Martin Brodeur. Brodeur led the Devils for nearly 20 years and won three Stanley Cups. He traded for starter Cory Schneider as the air apparent to Brodeur in 2013. He stole Frederik Andersen from the Ducks at the 2016 Draft. Andersen has become one of the top goalies in the league in under two years. Lamoriello knows the talent in goal when he sees it. And if it’s not Ilya Sorokin, Linus Soderstrom, or Thomas Greiss, Lamoriello will find the goaltender that will ensure success.
DEFENSE: Name a Lou Lamoriello run team that wasn’t stout defensively? There are very few. And for a team that was the worst defense in the National Hockey League a year ago, Lamoriello taking over couldn’t have come at a more crucial time. The man visualized and created the “Neutral Zone Trap” in New Jersey and his teams benefited thoroughly from it. Lamoriello also knows defensive talent staring at him — Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, and Brian Rafalski just to name a few — and he will do a better job drafting and developing d-men in the pipeline than in years before him. The Isles are already one of the premier offenses in the league, so Lamoriello shoring up the defense in his image will only give the team a more promising future.
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