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Enter the mind of Lou L.


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#1 mort4345

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:26 PM

With Kovy now signed, sealed and delivered, I find myself still curious about one intriguing topic: What did Lou really think of the entire Kovy debacle? A few things seem certain:

A) Lou was not happy at all about the 17-year deal the team originally submitted.
B) Ownership was clearly the driving force behind getting a long-term, heavily front-loaded contract done.
C) Lou sees Zach Parise as more integral to the Devils future success than any other player including Kovy.

However, while those issues are relatively clear, what isn't clear to me is just how gung-ho Lou was to get a deal done with Kovy in the first place. As such, it seems to me that there is a wide range of possibilities relating to Lou's thoughts on the matter - from not wanting to even trade for him in the first place to being entirely content that Kovy is a Devil for life with a manageable cap hit for the foreseeable future. My guess is that Lou's ideal scenario would have fallen somewhere in between those two outcomes. But I'm curious what the board thinks. Is Lou generally pleased by the final outcome or does the Kovy signing really throw a wrench into his long-term plans for the Devils? Is he pissed that he now has to unload a bunch of contracts in the next few weeks just to field a compliant roster? Is he pissed that his ability to sign Parise long-term is now that much more complicated? Or in the end, are those just minor speed bumps and the price of doing business in order to obtain one of the best offensive talents in the league? I don't pretend to know the answers, but it seems like a question worth asking.
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#2 Beck27

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:42 PM

He just signed the league's leading scorer since his draft year with a relatively reasonable cap hit to boot. I'm sure he's ecstatic.
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#3 Risky

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:54 PM

Come 2012-2013 with Elias, Brodeur, Rolston, Langenbrunner, Arnott all off a bigger salary cap and he'll be more titillated than if he saw a complete double rainbow.
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#4 Triumph

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:55 PM

This is a thoughtful series of questions. I like it.

A) Lou was not happy at all about the 17-year deal the team originally submitted.


At all is a bit harsh. He didn't think they should be allowed. Now they're not, so I guess he got his way in the end.

B) Ownership was clearly the driving force behind getting a long-term, heavily front-loaded contract done.


I think this is pretty obvious, yes.

C) Lou sees Zach Parise as more integral to the Devils future success than any other player including Kovy.


I would hope this is the case, but Lou cannot say that publicly.

However, while those issues are relatively clear, what isn't clear to me is just how gung-ho Lou was to get a deal done with Kovy in the first place. As such, it seems to me that there is a wide range of possibilities relating to Lou's thoughts on the matter - from not wanting to even trade for him in the first place to being entirely content that Kovy is a Devil for life with a manageable cap hit for the foreseeable future.


It's tough for me to believe that ownership would demand that Lou trade for Kovalchuk. I would like to believe that Vanderbeek has less of a hand in the day-to-day operations of the team. I'd like to believe that Lou got approval to make this deal, did so, and Vanderbeek and company fell in love with the idea of having Kovalchuk long-term, so they got seriously involved with re-signing him.

But I'm curious what the board thinks. Is Lou generally pleased by the final outcome or does the Kovy signing really throw a wrench into his long-term plans for the Devils? Is he pissed that he now has to unload a bunch of contracts in the next few weeks just to field a compliant roster? Is he pissed that his ability to sign Parise long-term is now that much more complicated?


Lou's had to do this before - it's not new. I don't think signing Parise should be that big a problem, nor do I think, given the depth in the minor league system now, that disposing of these rotten contracts will be that bad. Lou has made far too many 'win-now' mistakes over the last few years, in part because there hasn't been anyone from the minors to come up and adequately replace people New Jersey might lose.

I don't think Lou would ever sign such a contract simply because it can go very, very wrong, quickly, and can easily saddle a team with an immovable problem. He probably won't be the general manager of the team in 6 or 7 years, but if Kovalchuk suffered a serious injury that limited his ability, or his style of play became a problem - it's difficult to get rid of him. It's a much larger risk than people around here think.

Edited by Triumph, 10 September 2010 - 02:56 PM.

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#5 SMantzas

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 03:14 PM

This is a thoughtful series of questions. I like it.



At all is a bit harsh. He didn't think they should be allowed. Now they're not, so I guess he got his way in the end.



I think this is pretty obvious, yes.



I would hope this is the case, but Lou cannot say that publicly.



It's tough for me to believe that ownership would demand that Lou trade for Kovalchuk. I would like to believe that Vanderbeek has less of a hand in the day-to-day operations of the team. I'd like to believe that Lou got approval to make this deal, did so, and Vanderbeek and company fell in love with the idea of having Kovalchuk long-term, so they got seriously involved with re-signing him.



Lou's had to do this before - it's not new. I don't think signing Parise should be that big a problem, nor do I think, given the depth in the minor league system now, that disposing of these rotten contracts will be that bad. Lou has made far too many 'win-now' mistakes over the last few years, in part because there hasn't been anyone from the minors to come up and adequately replace people New Jersey might lose.

I don't think Lou would ever sign such a contract simply because it can go very, very wrong, quickly, and can easily saddle a team with an immovable problem. He probably won't be the general manager of the team in 6 or 7 years, but if Kovalchuk suffered a serious injury that limited his ability, or his style of play became a problem - it's difficult to get rid of him. It's a much larger risk than people around here think.

Ilya's game is all about speed. Should something happen to, lets say his ankle, he's left with nothing more than a shot. Kovalchuk has had a pretty good track record of being healthy throughout his career, so that's the good news.

Of course long term contracts are always very risky, but this one seems to be magnified. I know 6.66 mill is a bargain, but that's still a very sizable cap hit should something go wrong. If you look at the Richards, DiPietro and Hossa deals, the hit isn't nearly that big.

Lou has to be pleased to lock up a perennial 40 goal scorer long term. Also, adding Kovalchuk will help out the attendance at the rock, that's always a plus to ownership. Kovy is hungry to contribute and to win, so I see this as a good risk

Edited by SMantzas, 10 September 2010 - 03:21 PM.

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#6 lucifer91

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 03:31 PM

probably not next year, but the years after, wouldnt the cap go up? Thereby making the 6.66 cap hit look even better? Towards the end of the 15 years, will 6.66 even be that big of a deal?

I dont know if i am making any sense or not. Not much brain power left on a friday at 430pm
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#7 NJayDevil

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 03:38 PM

The guy, Lou, hopped on his private jet to personally go pick him up after trading for him. Lou knew the minute he acquired him he was recruiting him to sign with the team in the future, and recognizing the opportunity he was just handed in acquiring him for a measly 1st rounder and some scrubs. Every time he talks about Kovy's personality and his team player attitude, he has a smile and smirk on his face reminiscent to when he was at the podium stealing Parise at the 03 draft.

As far as he's considered, he just cemented this team's offensive stars well into his retirement (barring a change in heart by Parise within this next year...which a lot will depend on how the team performs and how Johnny Mac handles the offense).
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#8 Pepperkorn

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 03:45 PM

I can't guess Lou's real thoughts at all.

So if I were playing Lou based on the script as we heard it, and with the given circumstance as we understand them to be from the papers...

First off - all of my feelings on the topic would be resolved before the public even got to see things played out

I'd be aware that I was going to be asked to hold on to this key player once we got him via trade. I'd feel -- edgy about that. Regardless of what was being said I'd see the chips going down...and that my opinion on the matter is not going to count for sh!t and I am basically powerless in the negotiation process and had ZERO chance of getting buy in for doing things my way.

I'd be pleased I had my past operating history because this player and his agent would understand I'm not a bluffer. -- although in actuality I've got to bluff the sh!t out of them because ownership has laid down the law. So my only chance to see what I'm stuck with is the playoffs. I am not disappointed - I am not thrilled and confident the kid is putty in my hands Clearly he sees how it is. It's about money and he is GONE if I ask him to compromise. Taking of Marty's sticks is his nice little bluff caller - not wasted on me <_< I've got to find 100-effin-K <_<

As Lou I will speak my mind on what the organization requires. But what sucks is there is just not assurance that this guy isnt BSing. It sucks but what the hell -- not my money. :rant: The more the organization had to give on the deal during the negotiations, the grumpier and less assured I feel. It is what it is and what am I going to do? Work with what I am given.

I'll debate about what sort of message I want to send tot he league about it all...I think if I was playing Lou I'd throw in a little bit of enjoying the throwing aside of fiscal responsibility while behind closed doors. The joy I had gotten in the past saying no would find a way to creep in to actually saying yes. I would have a certain amount of respect with saying "We can do that" rather than "My hands are tied -- how about you tell me what YOU can do for me?" Could I shake the realization that I took great joy in saying no in the past? Could I find anything positive to take away from being forced to say yes? There would be moments I'd love the deep pocketed feeling - you've got to look on the bright side after all right? Part of me would feel a little sick about it all too though. I'd question what all my honesty - my honest dealings - my honest we just dont have it --- really was -- no it's not business, it's hockey and I am in charge and -- sure I am but this is bullsh!t . As it all played out I'd be fine. I'd be annoyed too -- just because even the unpredictable is so predictable. John Madden THAT is how it's supposed to work. but too far MY WAY then a great guy ike Jay Pandolfo is alienated with no payoff, that's not what I want. -- or now with this Kovalchuk thing too far their way... it's not good. It's no good. but life goes on and I keep on doing what I do.

at the end of it all I'd feel a little hollow. I wouldn't feel as satisfied as I did acquiring Stevens through brute force. I'd feel like I'd compromised my authority but what the hell. I'd think I was really too old for any catharsis. So I'd think to myself - time to move on and not let apathy sink in. The juxtaposition of past and future would seem interesting to me -- but at the end of the day I'd just feel tired and ponder retirement just because everyone is so fvcking demanding fvck the NHL fvck everything and everyone. as if I had anywhere else to go... Blah. but the feeling wouldn't last and I'd be a little sorry things were just going to carry on as they always had and so would I ... despite this whoooBIG CHANGE - :rolleyes:
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#9 Pepperkorn

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:01 PM

So that was what you were goig for right?

:uni:


Seriously -- I'm Lou. What's on my mind.... a winning season. I'm talking to John MacLean. I'm talking to my partners in upcoming moves wondering when we want to set the timing on announcing all this sh!t. I'm thinking about how these players are fvckers and how I love them too, feeling bad about impending trades but I like what I'm leaving myself with - leaving MacLean with. Good days bad days... I am not, CANNOT think beyond getting things set for this season. At night I have a drink and read njdevs and laugh at how these kids think I can even think beyond tomorrow much less seasons to come! :rofl: :urg: Gawd I love this Job... and I love saying Noo Bedfud... I'll get a house in Noo Bedfud...Pahk my cah in Noo Bedfud train station.... shawp at Stah Mahkit... New England rawks.

hmm... I'm no good at this Lou thing am I?

Edited by Pepperkorn, 10 September 2010 - 04:02 PM.

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#10 DevilinLA

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 05:03 PM

So that was what you were goig for right?

:uni:


Seriously -- I'm Lou. What's on my mind.... a winning season. I'm talking to John MacLean. I'm talking to my partners in upcoming moves wondering when we want to set the timing on announcing all this sh!t. I'm thinking about how these players are fvckers and how I love them too, feeling bad about impending trades but I like what I'm leaving myself with - leaving MacLean with. Good days bad days... I am not, CANNOT think beyond getting things set for this season. At night I have a drink and read njdevs and laugh at how these kids think I can even think beyond tomorrow much less seasons to come! :rofl: :urg: Gawd I love this Job... and I love saying Noo Bedfud... I'll get a house in Noo Bedfud...Pahk my cah in Noo Bedfud train station.... shawp at Stah Mahkit... New England rawks.

hmm... I'm no good at this Lou thing am I?

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#11 Mitico12

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 05:41 PM

He just signed the league's leading scorer since his draft year with a relatively reasonable cap hit to boot. I'm sure he's ecstatic.


I'm not sure about this. Lou is not a "big splash" guy in terms of signing huge contracts. It was clear that the financial viability of the Devils, not to mention Prudential Center, heavily hinged on a big-name signing.

Vanderbeek and company got their marquis guy. He's a guy that will certainly pay for his salary, and then some, in the first few years of his contract.

For example, the Devils will be on national TV eight plus times this season. That in itself commands more money. It also drives potential sponsors who are willing to pay a premium to be on national TV. Thats a few million right there.

Aside from Vanderbeek getting his "toy," the Devils got a legitimate hockey player on their roster, for a fairly low cap hit per year.

I'm sure Lamoriello did not want to stray from his traditional policy of "no-frills/championship mucking" hockey teams, however, this was an exception he had to make for the benefit of the "almighty dollar" that commands even his very own salary.


Ironically, however, if the Devils were still playing at the IZOD CENTER, I would BET HEAVILY that Kovalchuk doesn't get re-signed. He doesn't even get an offer...

The Devils are playing with house money on some of these deals, and since their collective @sses are at stake (in terms of revenue generation), Kovalchuk was a must.

In conclusion, I don't think Lamoriello wanted Kovy that badly. He had to take one for the team, and did it for Vanderbeek and the ownership. The good news is that he got a good hockey player in return to help build his roster.
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#12 Beck27

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:55 PM

I'm not sure about this. Lou is not a "big splash" guy in terms of signing huge contracts. It was clear that the financial viability of the Devils, not to mention Prudential Center, heavily hinged on a big-name signing.

Vanderbeek and company got their marquis guy. He's a guy that will certainly pay for his salary, and then some, in the first few years of his contract.

For example, the Devils will be on national TV eight plus times this season. That in itself commands more money. It also drives potential sponsors who are willing to pay a premium to be on national TV. Thats a few million right there.

Aside from Vanderbeek getting his "toy," the Devils got a legitimate hockey player on their roster, for a fairly low cap hit per year.

I'm sure Lamoriello did not want to stray from his traditional policy of "no-frills/championship mucking" hockey teams, however, this was an exception he had to make for the benefit of the "almighty dollar" that commands even his very own salary.


Ironically, however, if the Devils were still playing at the IZOD CENTER, I would BET HEAVILY that Kovalchuk doesn't get re-signed. He doesn't even get an offer...

The Devils are playing with house money on some of these deals, and since their collective @sses are at stake (in terms of revenue generation), Kovalchuk was a must.

In conclusion, I don't think Lamoriello wanted Kovy that badly. He had to take one for the team, and did it for Vanderbeek and the ownership. The good news is that he got a good hockey player in return to help build his roster.




If Lou ran this team with his own cash, I would agree with this. But just about every business manager has to work within the budget delegated by his superiors. In this case, which is probably the first time in his Devils career, he was allowed to relax the rules imposed on a traditionally conservative pay structure. The hockey side of Lou wets it's pants every morning with giddiness...the business side says f it, the boss wanted me to do it.


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#13 thegame346

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 08:41 PM

Look even if Lou has some displeasure with this signing how many times has JVB come to Lou and said "I want you to get this done. This is priority"? JVB pretty much lets Lou make all the decisions for this team playerwise. JVB wanted this guy and insisted that Lou get him. It's like the first time I have ever seen JVB interject himself in player signing decisions. Once is acceptable IMO. He didn't mortgage this teams future. If we win one Cup with Kovy on the team I'd say it's worth it. Sure as hell beats 3 years in a row of first round losses.
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#14 Devs1965

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:12 PM

A little off topic which a appoligize if someone has already answered it,
What are the rules and I know this is a very unlikely chance of happening. What are the rules if LL can not get the numbers below the cap come deadline. The reason I ask this is because the UFA looks like the housing market, I mean there are so many good players available that there has been little movement on. The thought was that everything was being held up because of Kovy but that is over and nothing is moving and LL has a lot of work to do.
But my biggest question what is the rules if we are not under the cap do we lose a player do we sacrifice games???
Thank you for an answer!
GO DEVILS

Edited by Devs1965, 10 September 2010 - 10:25 PM.

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#15 Neb00rs

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 12:35 AM

C) Lou sees Zach Parise as more integral to the Devils future success than any other player including Kovy.


Let'hope so because if he doesn't ZP ain't getting re-signed because he is going to have a bigger cap hit than Kovy. Realistically I see Lou as thinking Zach is more integral.
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