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Is Lou Lamoriello losing his touch?

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Old
03-15-2004, 04:01 PM
  #1
Stephen
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Is Lou Lamoriello losing his touch?

I'm just hoping to get a response from Devils fans and people who pay more attention to the Devils day to day than I do...

It just seems to be that since the Devils won the cup back in 2000, and then lost it in 2001 with pretty much the same roster, they have steadily gotten worse on paper, and Lamoriello has kind of managed his assets kind of carelessly, or at least made a lot of mistakes in my eyes. I know they won the cup last year, but maybe they would have had an easier time with that they had before?

He seems to be willing to let free agents go with little resistance. Letting Holik go was the right thing to do, but Mogilny and Nieuwendyk hurt, especially since they went to Toronto, and they paid quite a bit to get them in town in the first place.

Maybe they should have kept Arnott around in the first place?

Trading Sykora away to Anaheim worked out short term with a cup win. But I think he's a better player than Friesen. Letting Tverdovsky walk probably will come back to haunt NJ in the future.

How has the Viktor Kozlov deal worked out so far?

From a casual observer's point of view, it looks like Lou has let holes develop in the organization through free agency, and then he fills in the same holes with more trades that leaves the organization weaker overall. He's still doing a great job, winning the cup last year and having a good team this year, but has he mismanaged his assets a bit in recent years? If he had done things differently, would the Devils be more of a favorite today?


Last edited by Stephen: 03-15-2004 at 04:04 PM.
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Old
03-15-2004, 04:47 PM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
It just seems to be that since the Devils won the cup back in 2000, and then lost it in 2001 with pretty much the same roster, they have steadily gotten worse on paper, and Lamoriello has kind of managed his assets kind of carelessly, or at least made a lot of mistakes in my eyes. I know they won the cup last year, but maybe they would have had an easier time with that they had before?
I don't quite understand the last sentence. However, if you want to say that the Devils have gotten worse since 2001, I am sure 90% of all Devils fans would agree with you. That is just how things are when you have a mid level budget; you lose players. If the Devils had Detroit or Colorado money I am sure they could keep certain guys, but they don't so they can't. The best thing about Lou Lamoriello is that even though he loses players every year, the team is still competitive. What other mid market team has won the cup in recent years(let alone 3 times like the Devils)?

Quote:
He seems to be willing to let free agents go with little resistance. Letting Holik go was the right thing to do, but Mogilny and Nieuwendyk hurt, especially since they went to Toronto, and they paid quite a bit to get them in town in the first place.
I don't really know that losing Holik and Mogilny hurt though as they still won the cup. Yeah, having them on the team now would make things better, but again, it comes down to money and the Devils aren't like Toronto and the Rangers; they can't afford to pay anything more then market value.

Quote:
Maybe they should have kept Arnott around in the first place?
Did you watch last years playoffs? Do you realize how important Jamie Langenbrunner was to the Devils winning the cup last year? What did Arnott do for Dallas last year when they needed him, other then taking some dumb penalties and costing Dallas a game.

Quote:
Trading Sykora away to Anaheim worked out short term with a cup win. But I think he's a better player than Friesen. Letting Tverdovsky walk probably will come back to haunt NJ in the future.
How much better a player then Friesen is he though? I mean he will only get about 20 goals this year, it's not like he is a perennial 40 goal man. The way the Devils play now, Friesen is a better fit on the current team then Sykora would be. That's not to say he is better, that's just to say he fits the team better. And bringing up Tverdovsky is silly as NO team in the NHL wanted him. I would say Paul Martin has done more for the Devils.

Quote:
How has the Viktor Kozlov deal worked out so far?
We don't know. However, considering we didn't give up too much, whatever Kozlov gives us in the playoffs will be a boost.

Quote:
From a casual observer's point of view, it looks like Lou has let holes develop in the organization through free agency, and then he fills in the same holes with more trades that leaves the organization weaker overall. He's still doing a great job, winning the cup last year and having a good team this year, but has he mismanaged his assets a bit in recent years? If he had done things differently, would the Devils be more of a favorite today?
Again, it's all about the money. He simply does not have the resources that guys like Pierre LaCroix and Ken Holland have. He has to let players go and he has to fill those voids with trades and then let those players go when they get too expensive. A core guy, he will keep(ie Brodeur, Stevens and hopefully Niedermayer). Basically, it boils down to the farm system, the most important thing to the Devils franchise. Being that they have always had a great farm system, they can replace guys internally without sacrificing performance. You bring up that 2000 team which was the best Devil team ever; it was a great team because it had many great players that came from the farm system. The next time the Devils have a team as good as that; it will also be because of guys that come up from the Devil farm system.

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03-15-2004, 05:29 PM
  #3
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Trading Sykora away to Anaheim worked out short term with a cup win. But I think he's a better player than Friesen. Letting Tverdovsky walk probably will come back to haunt NJ in the future.
Trading away Arnott and Sykora was more for the purpose of breaking up the "A" line, which the Devils were becoming far too reliant on.

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03-15-2004, 05:38 PM
  #4
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Yep Lou's lost his touch. Look at all the trades he's made. That is how you judge a GM, the supposed quality of his trades, not the results of his team!

So, the fact that the Devils will be entering the playoffs as the defending Stanley Cup Champs, participants in 3 of the last 4 Cup Finals is irrelevant. It's the trades that matter. After all, trades are "the end" not "the means". Winning is just a peripheral issue.

Excuse me now while I head back to planet earth. :p

***

PS - Twenty-nine other NHL GMs would like to be "losing their touch" to the tune of the record of achievement cited above.


Last edited by Trottier: 03-15-2004 at 05:44 PM.
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03-15-2004, 05:41 PM
  #5
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You can't just look at the departures witout looking at the arrivals. Players usually don't arrive via free agency, but look at all the help the Devils have gotten from their farm since 2000: Brian Gionta, David Hale, Paul Martin, Mike Rupp, Christian Berglund, Jiri Bicek. Lou also is incredibly apt at finding the right pieces at the deadline. Last year Richard Smehlik was a bust. But Pascal Rheaume and Grant Marshall could not have worked out better. At the same time, by refusing to overpay for players like The Wings, Flyers, and Leafs frequently do, Lou has allowed The brilliance of head scout David Conte to shine, giving NJ the 4th rated set of prospects according to this site. Lou doesn't just take short term shots, he's constantly re-loading the dynasty.

The main reason our 2000 team was so awesome was 4 rookies that became NHL stars almost overnight: John Madden, Brian Rafalski, Colin White, and Scott Gomez. With Paul Martin, Zach Parise, Alexander Suglobov, and David Hale, the class of 2004/2005 is almost here.

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03-15-2004, 05:54 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
It just seems to be that since the Devils won the cup back in 2000, and then lost it in 2001 with pretty much the same roster, they have steadily gotten worse on paper, and Lamoriello has kind of managed his assets kind of carelessly, or at least made a lot of mistakes in my eyes. I know they won the cup last year, but maybe they would have had an easier time with that they had before?
Issue #1 - money
Fact #1 - good on paper dosnt always translate onto the ice. Lou built a bunch of guys that can win, weather they have the star power or not is inconsicuential.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
He seems to be willing to let free agents go with little resistance. Letting Holik go was the right thing to do, but Mogilny and Nieuwendyk hurt, especially since they went to Toronto, and they paid quite a bit to get them in town in the first place.
Issue #2 - see issue #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
Maybe they should have kept Arnott around in the first place?
Issue #3 - Arnott was rumoured to be a huge cancer. Him and sykora thought that they were bigger than the team itself and we started to get too reliant on them
Fact #2 - we dont win that cup without Langs last year

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
Trading Sykora away to Anaheim worked out short term with a cup win. But I think he's a better player than Friesen. Letting Tverdovsky walk probably will come back to haunt NJ in the future.
Issue #4 - see issue #3
Fact #3 - Lou dealt for a #2 defensive pp quarterback and a once fairly elite scorer. No one could expect that Tver would literally die on the Devils, NO ONE. Also, we probably wouldnt have won the cup without Friesen either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
How has the Viktor Kozlov deal worked out so far?
Fact #4 - He is injured. Lou knew what he was getting into when he took Kozlov. Kozlov CAN BE a gamebreaker when/if he gets healthy and tries hard. Lou took a chance and didnt give up too much in doing so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
From a casual observer's point of view, it looks like Lou has let holes develop in the organization through free agency, and then he fills in the same holes with more trades that leaves the organization weaker overall. He's still doing a great job, winning the cup last year and having a good team this year, but has he mismanaged his assets a bit in recent years? If he had done things differently, would the Devils be more of a favorite today?
If Stevens nver got injured we would be more of a favorite today. Lou has managed to make us a contender by keeping the core together, and excellent drafting/develping of prospects (and that certanly shows no signs of ending anytime soon).

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03-15-2004, 05:59 PM
  #7
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Only one word to answer this:


NO

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03-15-2004, 06:05 PM
  #8
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when you win the cup and get zach parise in the same year...you're not losing your touch

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03-15-2004, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
Lamoriello has kind of managed his assets kind of carelessly
That's utter tripe. If you see a hard cap in the NHL, Lou Lamoriello's genius will really shine.

Lou Lamoriello is one of the greatest sports administrators in North American history. The things that he has done at Providence College, the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Nets are remarkable.

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03-15-2004, 06:58 PM
  #10
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Originally Posted by Dark Metamorphosis
when you win the cup and get zach parise in the same year...you're not losing your touch
Exactly.

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03-15-2004, 07:01 PM
  #11
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Look, I'm not making accusations here, I'm just asking some questions. The personnel moves just look pretty bad, and I was thinking that the Devils would be much, much stronger if they had stayed the course with what they had before. Instead of being middle of the pack this year, they could be in that #1 position. Instead of beating Anaheim in 7, maybe they could have done it in 4-5.

I'm sure there's a budget in NJ, but aren't they owned by what's his face, you know, the one who owns the Yankees?

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03-15-2004, 07:07 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
I'm sure there's a budget in NJ, but aren't they owned by what's his face, you know, the one who owns the Yankees?
So? The Yankees have a budget too, you know...

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03-15-2004, 07:12 PM
  #13
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For some odd reason, Jersey seems to suck the year following a Cup win.

It could very well be because Stevens is out this year, but still.

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03-15-2004, 07:13 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Dirty Chinaman
For some odd reason, Jersey seems to suck the year following a Cup win.

It could very well be because Stevens is out this year, but still.
Their '01 team was amazing.

1st in the league in offense and went to the cup finals.

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03-15-2004, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
I'm just hoping to get a response from Devils fans and people who pay more attention to the Devils day to day than I do...

It just seems to be that since the Devils won the cup back in 2000, and then lost it in 2001 with pretty much the same roster, they have steadily gotten worse on paper, and Lamoriello has kind of managed his assets kind of carelessly, or at least made a lot of mistakes in my eyes. I know they won the cup last year, but maybe they would have had an easier time with that they had before?

He seems to be willing to let free agents go with little resistance. Letting Holik go was the right thing to do, but Mogilny and Nieuwendyk hurt, especially since they went to Toronto, and they paid quite a bit to get them in town in the first place.

Maybe they should have kept Arnott around in the first place?

Trading Sykora away to Anaheim worked out short term with a cup win. But I think he's a better player than Friesen. Letting Tverdovsky walk probably will come back to haunt NJ in the future.

How has the Viktor Kozlov deal worked out so far?

From a casual observer's point of view, it looks like Lou has let holes develop in the organization through free agency, and then he fills in the same holes with more trades that leaves the organization weaker overall. He's still doing a great job, winning the cup last year and having a good team this year, but has he mismanaged his assets a bit in recent years? If he had done things differently, would the Devils be more of a favorite today?
And the Rangers got better on paper since then... Yet one's just held a firesale while the other looks to challenge for the cup after winning it last year (despite such "bad" trades as dropping Arnott and Sykora, and letting Mogilny go for free). Funny how that "on paper" stuff means absolutely nothing.

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03-15-2004, 07:20 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
I'm sure there's a budget in NJ, but aren't they owned by what's his face, you know, the one who owns the Yankees?
Only technically. After we were eliminated by Carolina in 2002, we were about 10M in debt, and we called Steinbrenner to ask for cash to cover our costs. Steinbrenner said OK, but never, ever ask him for money again. :mad:

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03-15-2004, 08:42 PM
  #17
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Guys, Steinbrunner has no stake in the Devils anymore. The Yankee-Nets are dead, and Steinbrenner and crew have absolutely no ownership of the Devils. In fact, The Devils just got a new majority owner about a week ago. Lamorello said he's a good guy, a hockey loving millionare that'll keep the team in NJ. That said, I doubt the payroll is going to get boosted.

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03-15-2004, 09:15 PM
  #18
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I don't get the slagging on Lou Lam. Yeah, he can come across a little arrogant in the way he does business, but so what? The guy has gotten stellar results over the past decade while maintaining a medium sized budget. The scouting and development of prospects is second to none, and he has just the right knack for managing assets. Lou's an untouchable IMO. EVERY owner in the league would kill to have him running their club.


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03-15-2004, 09:24 PM
  #19
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I agree with this guy. As a Devils fan, I can say Lou has been nothing but awful for this franchise for the last four years.

{Takes 10th hit from crackpipe}

Yep...{cough}...awful...

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03-15-2004, 10:23 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger
I don't get the slagging on Lou Lam. Yeah, he can come across a little arrogant in the way he does business, but so what? The guy has gotten stellar results over the past decade while maintaining a medium sized budget. The scouting and development of prospects is second to none, and he has just the right knack for managing assets. Lou's an untouchable IMO. EVERY owner in the league would kill to have him running their club.
Look, I'm not doubting this, it's just his methods of madness are a little hard to understand, even outside of the money issues, which I didn't know where such a big problem in NJ.

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Old
03-15-2004, 10:32 PM
  #21
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It may not look like it but Lou is actually in a rebuilding stage. This is the best group of prospects he has had since mid 90's and he is starting to ease them all in. This is still a team that can win the cup but you will see alot of these players rapidly leaving NJ for the young guys. May not make sense but thats how I see it.

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03-15-2004, 11:06 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonMacIsaac
It may not look like it but Lou is actually in a rebuilding stage. This is the best group of prospects he has had since mid 90's and he is starting to ease them all in. This is still a team that can win the cup but you will see alot of these players rapidly leaving NJ for the young guys. May not make sense but thats how I see it.
Also I remember that last year was actually suppossed to be a "transitional year" because of all the guys they lost the year before. Luckily, they also won the cup.

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03-15-2004, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meehan
Also I remember that last year was actually suppossed to be a "transitional year" because of all the guys they lost the year before. Luckily, they also won the cup.
Well we usually do this every year but I expect a couple more rookies to jump in then normal. Suglobov, Pihlman and Parise should be eased in fairly soon up front.

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03-16-2004, 09:02 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Dirty Chinaman
For some odd reason, Jersey seems to suck the year following a Cup win.
Yeah, if that is the case, it's still better than sucking for 29 YEARS, right pal? The Devils have played in 3 of the last 4 Stanley Cup Finals, so your comment is unfounded.

The Devils have won the three Stanley Cups over the last nine seasons while having payrolls of $52.4 million (8th out of 30) in 2003, $31.3 m. (15th out of 28) in 2000 and $16.5 m. (10th out of 26). Lou Lamoriello has done a lot with a fairly small budget. The Devils biggest revenue problem is lack of luxury boxes at Continental Airlines Arena. It was built in the early 1980's when arena/stadium builders didn't do it. The new Newark Arena (planned for a July 2007 open) will correct that problem.

New Jersey is a small market. The team plays five miles away from an "original six" team. The Islanders were also winning Stanley Cups as the franchise arrived from Colorado. To top matters, Philadelphia claims parts of Southern New Jersey as part of its suburbs. A lot of diehard hockey fans had a team to cheer for, and I can't blame them for not switching because I wouldn't change if (hypothetically) a team moved to an arena closer to my home.

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03-16-2004, 09:48 PM
  #25
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Stephen...

First of all you should understand that the responses to your question are bound to be a little bit curt, because as a group, Devils fans don't deal well with criticism. This isn't a reflection of the people who make up this group, as if you wander over to the Devils board you'll see that for the most part we are relatively calm, rational and pleasant to talk to. Its just that for years we've heard nothing but "the Devils play boring hockey" and "they're a pathetic organization, they can't even sell out their building in first round playoff games". So when someone criticizes the man who's brought us 3 cups in 10 years, we get a little bit testy. I don't personally think that Lou is losing it, I think (hope) that he is planning on being the GM of this team for another 5-10 years, and is looking that far into the future with all of the moves that he makes. When the Devils traded away Arnott for Nieuwendyk and Langenbrunner and subsequently lost in the 1st round, I thought that he'd lost his touch, but then he went and made further moves to bring Friesen here for Sykora and without Langenbrunner and Friesen we wouldn't have won the cup last year. So I guess that my point is that with Lou you can't always judge his moves right away. They often have to be looked at with more of a big-picture point of view. What keeps me excited to be a Devils fan right now is that we've got David Hale and Paul Martin playing a full year in the Devils system for the big club. That is a huge deal, normally rookies have to earn their stripes with the farm team before getting an opportunity with the big club. We also have Zach Parise, who IMO would be a top 10 pick any normal draft year, and didn't have to give up any major pieces to get him. And with David Conte running the drafting machine, I can rest assured that the farm team will continue to be replenished each year to keep the system moving ahead. I really believe that its all a system that Lou has set up, and the objective is to keep a competitive team year in and year out, while keeping a relatively low payroll.

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