The New York Islanders officially named Hall of Fame executive Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations Tuesday.
Lamoriello will have “full authority over all hockey matters with the organization.” The 75-year-old spent the past three seasons as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and previously guided the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cup titles.
“We are grateful to Larry Tanenbaum and the Toronto Maple Leafs for their courtesy in allowing this move,” Islanders managing partner Scott Malkin said in a statement. “We are committed to giving Lou every resource and the full support of the entire organization as we pursue our program to compete at the highest level.”
Lamoriello stayed on as an advisor with the Maple Leafs after team president Brendan Shanahan announced last month that the team would transition to a new general manager. Kyle Dubas was named the Leafs’ GM earlier this month, and Lamoriello’s name soon surfaced as a candidate to take over the Islanders’ operations.
“I am excited to join such a storied franchise and look forward to working with Scott Malkin and the entire New York Islanders organization,” Lamoriello said in a statement.”
Talks between Lamoriello and the Islanders about a role with the team reportedly began earlier this month.
The Islanders have missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons and currently employ Lamoriello’s son, Chris, as assistant GM. Garth Snow, the team’s current GM, said after the season that he felt his job was secure, but team co-owner Jon Ledecky said in a statement that ownership would be “evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations.”
The futures of Snow and Islanders coach Doug Weight are now uncertain. Snow has been the team’s GM since 2006, but the Islanders have made the playoffs just four times in his tenure and won only one playoff series.
With Toronto, Lamoriello helped oversee a rebuilding process that began with the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and saw the Maple Leafs return to the Stanley Cup playoffs the following season. Toronto went 49-26-7 during the 2017-18 regular season to finish third in the Atlantic Division with 105 points, but was eliminated by the Boston Bruins in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.
Lamoriello spent 27 seasons as the New Jersey Devils’ general manager before stepping down to accept the Toronto job.
In joining the Islanders, Lamoriello’s No. 1 priority will be star center John Tavares’ impending free agency. The two have reportedly already spoken.
Tavares, 27, scored 84 points (37 goals, 47 assists) this season and is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent July 1.
—Field Level Media