New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, fresh off his team winning the draft lottery, was reluctant to answer questions about his team’s baffling draft victory Wednesday, saying little more than he “took care of it,” reporters “shouldn’t worry about it” and later, “you want I should break your thumbs?”
The Devils won the lottery Tuesday night snagging the 4th overall pick in this June’s NHL draft with just a 3.6 percent chance of doing so, an event all the more surprising given Lamoriello’s recent battles with the league over Ilya Kovalchuk.
“We have this little cugine at the Devils who knows a guy who makes some oobatz ping pong balls with Devils logos on it,” Lamoriello said. “So I made some calls for my basement rec room and next thing you know I’m getting a call to say we won the draft lottery.”
Asked by reporters if he was insinuating he rigged the lottery, Lamoriello got defensive.
“Hey, ho. Look who’s trying to be a reporter over here,” he said. “I was simply telling you a playful anecdote about my adventures in acquiring some top-notch ping pong balls for my rec room. Any further questions about the draft lottery, which I don’t recall saying I had any involvement in, can be answered by my muscle, or, look at me mixing up my words, my vice president Vinny in this backroom over here.”
Sources told ItB NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was fuming Wednesday, and frantically conducting a top-down investigation of who replaced all the “Devils forfeit their pick” ping pong balls ahead of the lottery drawing.
The win allowed the Devils to leap-frog the New York Islanders, who, mired deep in a rebuilding process, had hoped for another top pick. Newly minted full-time New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano, reached at an autograph signing for the release of Sonic the Hedgehog for iPad and iPhone, declined comment.
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