Is there anything worse than seeing one of your exes doing well? Well a lot of things, but that doesn’t make it good feeling. That’s kinda what the Leafs have been living with Lou Lamoriello. He’s not the one that got away, instead he’s the one who seemed like a trainwreck that wasn’t going to get their shit together, and low and behold in their next relationship they figure it all out.
In case you’re not gathering why I’m yammering on about this and you ignored the title before clicking blindly on a TLN link…
Lou Lamoriello of the @NYIslanders is the 2019-20 recipient of the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award. Voting was conducted among NHL Club GMs and a panel of NHL executives, print & broadcast media at the end of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/1gOwgn5nFQ
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) September 12, 2020
Honestly, good for him. The Islanders have gone on an unexpected run. The world has learned that Barry Trotz is one hell of a coach and certainly Lou made some shrewd moves to get the Islanders to this point. The Pageau trade was a gamble that has paid off. We’ll see if the contract is as equally strong a move.
It seems that Lamoriello has the right coach and knows the right team to build for him. That makes a lot of a difference, maybe we just blame all our Lou resentment on Mike Babcock and call it a day.
No. It’s not really as simple as that. Lou Lamoriello left some absolute bombs for Kyle Dubas to diffuse, and frankly they weren’t great moves from the beginning. The Marleau contract, the Zaitsev contract, those godawful Mark Hunter draft picks that nearly emptied the Leafs prospect pool, the delay in the start of the Nylander contract negotiations, those fall on Lamoriello. Lou not building the team that Babcock wanted to play falls on him as well, and while Lamoriello has been finding success on Long Island, let’s not play revisionist history and pretend that he was remotely competent as a GM in Toronto. It’s great that Shanahan moved on from Lamoriello, and at the end of the day it really shouldn’t matter that Lou found success elsewhere.
Still it does matter. This is Toronto and if we don’t freak out over every little thing we’re not being true to our status as Leafs fans. Rightly or wrongly there are concerns about Dubas as a GM, and this plays into the grass is greener scenario for a lot of people. The fact that Kyle Dubas got the exact same number of GM of the Year votes as Mark Hunter did doesn’t help either.
NHL GM of the year voting results pic.twitter.com/VIy6AgJN1l
— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 12, 2020
This, like most awards is a silly one, and given that the GMs themselves vote on it, it’s as ridiculously self congratulatory as the Elmer Ferguson and Foster Hewitt awards that hockey journalists hand out to each other. This award doesn’t mean that Lamoriello is magically going to pull off great contracts for Matthew Barzal or Ryan Pulock. It doesn’t mean he was right in how he has treated Josh Ho-Sang. It doesn’t bring back his first round pick nor does it confirm that Lamoriello would have been a better GM for the Leafs over the past two years than Kyle Dubas has been. The award is simply another reminder of the Divine Comedy of Leafs fandom and we’re best to laugh and move on rather than think about this anymore than we already have.