If you think Edmonton is going to continue to suck you're out of your friggin mind. That's why drafts are set up the way that they are the so bad teams get the top young blood which allows them to turn it around. Edmonton is in a position where they can make a Lindros type trade or move one of their other number 1 picks to solidify other holes.
You cannot blame Conte for this mess. He is absolutely part of the problem. However, the buck has to stop with Lou. He's the executive. He could have gotten rid of Conte at any time.... This whole thing is Lou's baby and nobody else. The good and the bad.
I have not posted here in a while but it's shocking how many Devils fans are down on Lou and doubting his abilities. The man is the closest thing to a hockey genius this league has ever seen, modeled by other good GM's around the league but all the spoiled brats want to chase him out of NJ with torch and pitchfork in hand. Lou can never do enough for some of you people. And to those I heartedly say, go join the Islanders bandwagon or some other "sexy" team and after they sink into oblivion, perhaps then you'll learn to appreciate a classy franchise like the NJ Devils and appreciate a legendary GM like Lou Lamoriello.
I think part of the idea for some is that he's not going to be around much longer anyway.... For others he has made a lot of mistakes. The Brodeur era is long past over and the Devils have a horrible roster that Lou is responsible for. You're right, Lou is a smart guy and has had a ton of success. But, he has to prove that he isn't going to bandaid fix this team because that doesn't work.