I Think I just re-lived my emotional roller-coaster of the last few hours by reading the following paragraphs of Lou's Wikipedia page (per the section titled Devils President and general manager": I'm sorry, I've had a few scotches.
“Lou’s a model for our business. This is not just the best run franchise in the NHL, it’s the best-run franchise in pro sports,” says hockey executive Brian Burke.
Lamoriello has been lauded by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for his key role in bringing Soviet hockey stars, such as Viacheslav Fetisov and Sergei Starikov, to the NHL in the late 80’s. "Clearly he was one of the visionaries that understood there were highly talented hockey players in the former Soviet Union that could have a place in this league," said Bettman. It was one of the reasons cited by Bettman for Lamiorello’s 2009 induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
He has fostered a “unique corporate culture” that has encouraged player loyalty. Martin Brodeur took below market contracts to stay with the Devils for years, and defenseman Ken Daneyko played all 1283 of his NHL games with the team. “I like to think of my players as a family,” says Lamoriello. “And I like to think the success we’ve had through the years shows that the players value that as much as they do the Stanley Cups, knowing that the two go hand in hand.”
When Lamoriello is asked the key to his success, he says it has been his systematic approach to player development. “It’s the team character this squad has . . . that you build on. I don’t ever use the word “rebuild.” “Based on my college background, I like to look at my roster as my seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen and gauge their development and roster turnover based on players going from one of those classes into the next. You have to build your staff and encourage them to be creative and realistic in their approach—and (not) be afraid to make a mistake. We stress that in drafting, player development, and coaching. You grow from your mistakes. I know I have.”