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Lou Lamoriello Needs To Be Put In A Retirement Home ASAP

Lou Lamoriello
Mel Evans/AP

Lou Lamoriello Is Out Of His Depth

Guys, Lou Lamoriello turned my brains into scrambled eggs this morning. In case you haven’t heard, the New York Islanders shockingly dismissed Barry Trotz as head coach earlier today. The reasons, you may ask? We will never know. Lou simply said the team needed a new voice and didn’t get into specifics of what went on behind the scenes. However, this is a complete disaster. For the first time in decades, the Islanders were relevant again. Last summer, I was cautiously optimistic about Lamoriello and the job he could do as Islanders President. However, that confidence has completely disintegrated. It is clear that he is not the executive he used to be and should step down before damaging the Islanders any further.

Where Can They Even Go?

Barry Trotz was not just the head coach of the Islanders. He WAS the Islanders. Easily their greatest coach since the great Al Arbour in the 1980s, Trotz emphasized hard work and working for the team instead of yourself. His personality and work ethic were something fans got behind, and the results spoke for themselves. In his first year, the Islanders swept the Penguins with home-ice advantage in the 2019 First Round. The next two years, they made it to the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals and gave the eventual champs headaches each time. The fact of the matter is, no one put up a better fight against the Lightning in either 2020 or 2021. The Islanders were a goal away from overtime in Game 7 last year. Sadly, I believe that is the closest they’ll ever get in a while without Trotz.

What’s even more confusing is who Trotz’s replacement would be. Lane Lambert deserves a head coaching job in the NHL, but I’m not sure if Lou would allow it. We don’t know if Lou let his ego get in the way if Barry had personal reasons to step away, or whatever the case may be. Regardless, this is doomsday for the Islanders. If Lou decides to hire someone like Lindy Ruff, I may just have to consider turning my fan card in. Islanders fans have been through enough since the turn of the millennium. Losing their best chance at sustained success since the Dynasty is an incredibly tough pill to swallow.

What The Hell Happened?

This is what makes me scratch my head. Did Barry lose the locker room? Was there a conflict between him and Lou? If the latter is the case, then I will begin to blame ownership as well. In a Barry vs. Lou power struggle, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin should ALWAYS pick Barry. The fact of the matter is, that Lou has not done an incredibly great job during his four years.

Trotz is almost entirely responsible for the on-ice success. While Mitch Korn deserves credit for reviving Robin Lehner’s career and helping Ilya Sorokin become the goalie of the present and future, Barry was the conductor of this train. All Lou did was some occasional trade deadline shopping and resigning the core to good but not great extensions. Last summer, Vladimir Tarasenko was available for just about anything, and they still passed on him. While Vladdy put up a career-high in points this season, Lou was convinced that Zach Parise and a 45-year-old Zdeno Chara would be the X-factors that bring them to the Stanley Cup Final.

From Bad To Worse

Look, what’s fair is fair. I think we can all agree that this was a season from hell for the Islanders. A 13-game road trip to start the season, a November COVID outbreak, on top of the passing of two franchise legends in Clark Gilles and Mike Bossy, made it hard to watch. I can agree that it wasn’t Barry’s finest season either. He struggled to make the right lineups at times and often gave veterans much more slack than he should have, especially at the expense of young players like Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows. However, that season did not change anyone’s perceptions of him. Trotz is still one of the five best coaches in hockey, and, as he did with the Islanders, can make any team play better than they did before he arrived.

A Wild Off-Season Ahead

Lou Lamoriello isn’t on thin ice, he’s underwater. Maybe Trotz wouldn’t have to be let go if Lou actually made some major upgrades last summer. Losing Jordan Eberle and Nick Leddy was always going to be difficult, but it was made even more so when no adequate replacements were acquired. However, this offseason seems to be even more crucial. Before his firing, I thought this could be a home run of a summer with Trotz in the fold. With pretty decent cap space, the only major free agent is RFA Noah Dobson. If they found a way to open up more money by moving the likes of Josh Bailey or Semyon Varlamov, it’s even more possible that Lou could go “big-game hunting” as journalists love to say.

However, I’m worried to see what will happen now. Filip Forsberg or Johnny Gaudreau? One can only dream. Instead, it looks like an overpay for John Klingberg or Bryan Rust could be on the cards. I’m not saying it will be a total fail, but the beginning of this offseason is off to about the worst start possible. Lou Lamoriello, you sir have made a huge mistake. You were great 10-20 years ago, but now I think it’s time for you to ride off into the sunset.

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