|Posted by Steven Liberman on February 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM|
Don't worry Devils fans, we are at least 2 years away from even thinking about the possibility of Lou Lamoriello retiring or giving up the General Manager position and remaining as Team President. Currently, Lamoriello holds the title of President, CEO and General Manager of the New Jersey Devils, so it's basically the Czar. However, there will come time when Lou Lamoriello is no longer the General Manager of the New Jersey Devils. When that era begins, it remains to be seen. However, recently these questions began to surface and then re-surface.
Lamoriello's resume and achievements go beyond just the sport of Hockey, where he made his biggest contributions. Before joining the New Jersey Devils, Lamoriello was the Head Ice Hockey Coach at Providence College and in 1982 became the Athletic Director at the school while still serving as the hockey coach. Lamoriello resigned in 1983 to focus more on the AD job. He was largely responsible for launching Rick Pitino's outstanding college basketball career in coaching when he hired him at Providence. Pitino led Providence to the NCAA Final Four in 1987 and he is currently the Head Basketball Coach at University of Louisville in Kentucky. Lamoriello was also responsible for creating the Hockey East Division in College Hockey, but in 1987, he resigned as Hockey East Commissioner to join the New Jersey Devils as Team President.
Just before the 1987-1988 season, Lamoriello named himself the Devils General Manager and is currently the longest serving GM in pro sports and in Hockey. He was also the vice-chairman and CEO of the formerly New Jersey Nets, when they were owned by the YankeeNets Group until 2004. Lou is known in the league as a very strict and tight to the chest executive with a strong player personnel background. Lamoriello does get his share of criticism as well for being too conservative as a General Manager. However, every GM goes through his rough patches. Lamoriello would build 3 Devils Stanley Cup Teams in 1995, 2000 and 2003. He is vastly responsible for drafting the likes of Martin Brodeur, Ken Daneyko, Bill Guerin, Brendan Shanahan, Scott Niedermayer and trading for Neal Broten, Claude Lemieux, Alexander Mogilny, Grant Marshall, Jeff Friesen, Joe Nieuwendyk, Jamie Langenbrunner, Oleg Tverdovsky and others in order to win the respective cups. Lamoriello does have his share of losing big name free agents like Mogilny, Lemieux, Holik, Scott Gomez, Brian Rafalski, John Madden and Brian Gionta and this past Summer in Zach Parise. However, expectations remain sky high.
Now, to the part of who eventually might succeed him? Well, the obvious choices would be David Conte, the Director of Scouting and Chris Lamoriello (his son and current Albany Devils General Manager). Both would continue his culture. Another name would obviously be former Canucks, Ducks and Leafs General Manager Brian Burke, whom Lou Lamoriello launched his career in Providence. I doubt Conte and Lamoriello will get the nods. Burke is a strong possibility. Other names that could get floated around is Anaheim Ducks Scouting Director Martin Madden, former Wild General Manager Doug Risebrough, former Flyers GM Bob Clarke, Lightning Assistant GM Julien BriseBois, Kings Assistant GM Ron Hextall or current Panthers GM Dale Tallon. All of these names are good candidates, but ultimately in my opinion Lou Lamoriello's successor will be hand-picked by him.