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In defense of Lou

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Lou hasnt been very good since the last lockout in a number of areas. People can wax poetic about the three cups and thats great, but that is not the subject of how to handle the future.

Bringing up bad teams and their GM situations is really not specific to the Devils. Its apples and oranges.

It is time to start pondering the succession. I dont want Lou fired or embarrassed at all, but he is at the point where there is real merit to the conversation of change and having some fresh ideas and such.

Who has done a better job in the period 2004 - 2012? 

Who do you have in mind as a legitimate replacement - no cop out "it'll just be Chris so why even discuss it"

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Lou hasnt been very good since the last lockout in a number of areas. People can wax poetic about the three cups and thats great, but that is not the subject of how to handle the future.

Bringing up bad teams and their GM situations is really not specific to the Devils. Its apples and oranges.

It is time to start pondering the succession. I dont want Lou fired or embarrassed at all, but he is at the point where there is real merit to the conversation of change and having some fresh ideas and such.

 

There've been points where I have thought this, but I really don't think it's true.  Lou is a bit weak when it comes to free agent signings and sometimes his hand has been forced in that regard.  The drafting, which I don't really consider Lou's in full, hasn't always been outstanding.  But can you name a bad trade he's made since the lockout? (I guess Halischuk and a 2nd for Arnott qualifies, but Halischuk is a healthy scratch in Nashville, which he deserves to be).  And there've been some great undrafted free agent signings, too.

Edited by Triumph

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I agree with the suggestion that it's time to start thinking of Life after Lou. The guy's in his 70's, and I think 2 more years (3 at the absolute max) is all he's really looking for.

Regarding the goaltending situation however.. I fork ZERO blame on Lamoriello.

Marty has missed nearly 80 games due to injury since 2009, and his paying for the 15 years where he played 75+ games a season. He's breaking down like a 40 year old goalie playing over 1,200 games would.. and Lou locked up Johan to play alongside him with the best intentions that the previous 2 season worth of track-record would repeat itself. -and why wouldn't it? Moose has nearly 40 victories since becoming a Devil. He's been the best backup\co-starter goalie a Devils fan could ask for. Better than Vanbiesbrouck, better than Weekes, and yes.. even better than Clemmensen.

 

Lou and Marty aren't going to be around forever...we've all known it for years, but it's getting close.  This era we were all lucky enough to be part of for so long is soon going to be referred to in the past tense.

 

Re:  Marty, who knows if he's paying for having played all of those games?  No goalie never made it as far as Marty did even BEFORE he started getting hurt, so there's really no other case study, as far as knowing how an almost 41-year-old goalie with 1204 regular season GP should break down.  He was at 1034 GP going into the '08-'09 season (the first where he missed significant time to due to injury), and 99% of that time, he was completely healthy, which is a major feat in of itself.  Patrick Roy, at 1029 GP, is the only other goalie to play over 1000 regular season games.  If he was at, say, 850-900 GP heading into the '08-'09, would it have really made much difference?  Especially since it can be argued that he had a lot of rest in 2004-05?  What's amazing is that, in 11 out of 12 seasons (from '96-'97 to '07), Marty played in 70+ games every year (in the one year he didn't, he started 67), and from what I remember, got hurt briefly at the beginning of the '05-'06 season when he tweaked his knee, yet still played in 73 games that season.  Like Tri has pointed out, the last few seasons have been a mixed bag...there's been times where he's almost looked old and finished, but was able to bounce back and turn in respectable-to-pretty good numbers.   

 

As for his backups, let's face it...for the most part, the only time any of them really got a typical backup's chance to play (or more) is when Marty got hurt, though when Hedberg came aboard, it seemed like the Devils were finally fighting the urge to start Marty his typical 70+.  I think even now Marty would probably still want to start 70+ if he thought he could handle it, which is part of what makes players like him what they are.  They never stop believing in themselves...I am sure that some goalies who started last season the way Marty did (.894 save% thru the end of January) might have hung 'em up, either in-season or at year's end. 

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Only defense that Lou needs... is the fact that this team is still playing in New Jersey. You want to whine about a slump? Go root for the team across the river.

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There've been points where I have thought this, but I really don't think it's true.  Lou is a bit weak when it comes to free agent signings and sometimes his hand has been forced in that regard.  The drafting, which I don't really consider Lou's in full, hasn't always been outstanding.  But can you name a bad trade he's made since the lockout? (I guess Halischuk and a 2nd for Arnott qualifies, but Halischuk is a healthy scratch in Nashville, which he deserves to be).  And there've been some great undrafted free agent signings, too.

The drafting is 100% Conte. I don't think Lou has his finger on any of that, and the main reason Conte never left is probably because he has carte blanche to draft anybody he wants. He needs to convince Lou to try and trade up and down, but has usually got Lou to make those deals when he wants them.

I guess you can blame Lou for losing picks which may have hurt the team, however.

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The drafting is 100% Conte. I don't think Lou has his finger on any of that, and the main reason Conte never left is probably because he has carte blanche to draft anybody he wants. He needs to convince Lou to try and trade up and down, but has usually got Lou to make those deals when he wants them.

I guess you can blame Lou for losing picks which may have hurt the team, however.

 

Sure, but Lou hired him and gave him that latitude, and it's usually paid off.  Most of general managing isn't in player evaluation, per se - there's only so much time a GM has for that - it's in hiring the right people and trusting them to make the right decisions on players.

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Bernier and Carter have quietly become big parts of this team. Lou did wonders last season, lets see what else he has up his sleeve this year, Lokti already looks like a good move.

Edited by Zubie#8

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While watching this team struggle for the past three weeks, my first instinct isn't to blame Lou. I actually don't blame anyone because I think this team will get hot again. Just a gut feeling.

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a few good moves and this team is a contender again.....Lou will do whats right.

 

Look....what we have been through the last few weeks, many teams have been playing like this for YEARS

 

We missed the playoff's like what....3 times in the last 15 years? cant complain about that

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Lou should not really get credit for Bernier and Carter. Those were waiver wire pickups essentially and they were on DeBoer's request at that.

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Lou should not really get credit for Bernier and Carter. Those were waiver wire pickups essentially and they were on DeBoer's request at that.

Yeah I credit Deboer with the success of those two guys. Thats my opinion at least.

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Lou should not really get credit for Bernier and Carter. Those were waiver wire pickups essentially and they were on DeBoer's request at that.

 

That's very silly.  DeBoer has denied on both occasions that he had much to do with either's acquisition.

 

EDIT:  I see now that Lou says DeBoer wanted Carter.  Still, that's part of my point - GMs don't know every player in the league.  That isn't their job.  Their job is to hire people who do and to use their knowledge to the team's advantage.

Edited by Triumph

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EDIT:  I see now that Lou says DeBoer wanted Carter.  Still, that's part of my point - GMs don't know every player in the league.  That isn't their job.  Their job is to hire people who do and to use their knowledge to the team's advantage.

 

Also, one of Lou's weaknesses has been his unwillingness/inability to get the right coach and keep him. Finally, he's found a smart coach, and they're playing off each other really well. Sure, DeBo had a lot to do with Carter coming to NJ, but Lou working with his coach and the two of them having a shared vision benefits everyone. 

 

I've always been a Lou defender (since he's one of the best ever and all), but even I admit he had some serious issues after the lockout. Hell, I'll even admit he has some shortcomings now -- he hands out no trade clauses like candy. That said, he's learned from his mistakes in ways that few GMs can, and even fewer old. successful GMs will. He's done a better job the past two years or so than he has at any point since the lockout. The team is in very solid shape, and is 1 or 2 pieces away from another Cup run. I think they make one before Marty retires, and when Marty retires, I have faith in Lou's ability to get a decent goalie to replace him.

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In all honesty, I think both Lou and Deboer both deserve credit for the success of those guys

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Deboer requested both Bernier and Carter. That is fact behind the scenes despite what Deboer said publicly. And its not silly to give him credit for that. Its not like Lou had too many alternatives at the time on his own.

Mouse, you can also argue half the teams in the NHL are one or two players away from a Cup run so thats really BS. Lou had a nice rebound year last year, but this year is yet to be written and thus far the grades are iffy.

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Sure, but Lou hired him and gave him that latitude, and it's usually paid off.  Most of general managing isn't in player evaluation, per se - there's only so much time a GM has for that - it's in hiring the right people and trusting them to make the right decisions on players.

Sure, and he think Conte has done enough for this organization for Lou to trust him 100% on his opinions. Sure, some have not worked out, but more times than not, he has done a great job. Don't think it make sense for Lou to go in a different direction. He's actually worked with so few hockey people, that I don't think he'd know where to begin to find a replacement. It's pretty much been Conte and his son for a very long time.

While watching this team struggle for the past three weeks, my first instinct isn't to blame Lou. I actually don't blame anyone because I think this team will get hot again. Just a gut feeling.

That's my feeling exactly. A few more losses, and I might change my mind about ever getting hot, but not about Lou. Edited by devilsrule33

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Deboer requested both Bernier and Carter. That is fact behind the scenes despite what Deboer said publicly. And its not silly to give him credit for that. Its not like Lou had too many alternatives at the time on his own.

 

Lou isn't sitting around scouting other teams, thinking 'boy, I bet this Ryan Carter would be a good fit for the Devils'.  I can guarantee there are lots of people who know the league better than he does.  Which is fine.  You can see how much GMs know about the league when they vote on the Vezina Trophy.  Regardless,  when he acquired Zidlicky last year, he talked about calling Lemaire and talking to Dave Barr and listening to input from scouts.  Do you think he was the impetus for acquiring Loktionov?  I sure don't.  But at the end, it's his call, and his job is on the line based on what his people tell him.

 

Mouse, you can also argue half the teams in the NHL are one or two players away from a Cup run so thats really BS. Lou had a nice rebound year last year, but this year is yet to be written and thus far the grades are iffy.

 

If anything, 2010 was more of a GM firing type year than 2011.  2011 was the stars being totally out of alignment for reasons that defy description.  Given the super-thin margins on which NHL teams exist now, we'll see more teams like the 2011 Devils in the years to come.

Edited by Triumph

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Mouse, you can also argue half the teams in the NHL are one or two players away from a Cup run so thats really BS. Lou had a nice rebound year last year, but this year is yet to be written and thus far the grades are iffy.

And considering a 6 seed played an 8 seed in the finals last year, every year half of the teams have a legitimate chance to win the cup at the end of the season. IMHO the only playoff teams last year with no chance were the Sens, who still gave the President's Trophy winning Rags a damn good run, and the Panthers, who took us to 7. Your job as a GM is to get into the playoffs, which is far from a guarantee. Lou has done that throughout his tenure, and if the season ended today, we would be in the playoffs, despite a terrible slump. 

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I'm confused about who supports Lou and who doesn't.

 

Well actually I feel the only hockey-lovin' logical thought is everyone suppoerts Lou they're just in panic bitchfest mode.

 

Lou will have to retire but I see no one with as much hockey knowledge and knowledge of the current NHL - breadth of knowledge - I see no one who superior to Lou.  I see a few guys I like but not over Lou.

 

I;m not going to argue because it's ridiculous.  UNLESS you have a different style of hockey you like.  To me Lou is pure hockey.

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The so-called  "fans" who trash Lou should just throw away their Devils jerseys and go root for the Rags or Islanders as far as I'm concerned.  We don't need you.

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LL does not need anyone defending him, he has been the best GM in hockey for 2 decades.... he has this job as long as he wants it, and we will continue to bow at hus feet in celebration of his greatness

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