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William D'Aquila

Lou is New Toronto GM

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we've all heard about mid-life crisis but is a "8/10 life crisis" a thing?

This made me laugh, although I do think you are being a bit unfair here.

He clearly feels he still has something to give, and let's be honest the man has probably forgotten more about hockey than the knowledge of the posters on this board combined.

He is a huge asset to any team. Considering the mantra from Toronto has been one of installing discipline and values to the team whilst acknowledging tradition is there a better man than Lou?

Clearly his time here was up, but there is nothing to say that his values and work ethic won't massively improve a team who have been piss poor for some time.

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Lou had only one real interesting point during the press conference as it relates to the Devils.

 

 

I have a bit of trouble with this. We all know the Devils had issues the last few years before the new owners came in financially. I'm not sure what the NHL allowed Lou to do or not, but perhaps not giving the funds or the 'okay' to sign Parise during the 11-12 season was one of them? Where else was Lou hamstrung? He got to sign Jagr, and Brunner, and Zajac long-term. He signed Greene and Schneider long-term. Had funds to sign Cammalleri and Clowe to big free-agent deals?

 

We know about the changes that Harris and Blitzer were looking to make in terms of wanting to know their ROI for these signings, but other than Parise....which by the way was massive, where was Lou handcuffed and not sure what was the point of him saying all of that. The Devils could be a cap team this year, and it would do almost nothing to help this hockey team. 

 

I'm sort of disappointed in Lou for being so candid about why he left.  It could've easily been, "Shanahan lured me away because I and he felt I wasn't done" but instead he had to throw that parting shot at the owners.  He was able to spend to the cap in their first year when he traded for Ruutu and had Jagr hit his performance bonuses, but that could have been the last straw to the owners too.  I wouldn't put too much into the signings he's done after that just because there is also a cap floor, and that is what we are at right now with the signings Lou gave.  If he wasn't spending money on them, it would've been on someone else.  Sure Clowe's money could've been spent on pretty much ANY other player and be a better situation, but it's all culminating in trying to get an NHL team together. 

 

But I will say about the quote, if Lou is referencing finances in jumping ship now, it definitely has to do with who owns the team now, not 5 years ago.

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I'm sort of disappointed in Lou for being so candid about why he left. It could've easily been, "Shanahan lured me away because I and he felt I wasn't done" but instead he had to throw that parting shot at the owners. He was able to spend to the cap in their first year when he traded for Ruutu and had Jagr hit his performance bonuses, but that could have been the last straw to the owners too. I wouldn't put too much into the signings he's done after that just because there is also a cap floor, and that is what we are at right now with the signings Lou gave. If he wasn't spending money on them, it would've been on someone else. Sure Clowe's money could've been spent on pretty much ANY other player and be a better situation, but it's all culminating in trying to get an NHL team together.

But I will say about the quote, if Lou is referencing finances in jumping ship now, it definitely has to do with who owns the team now, not 5 years ago.

He was clearly talking about Vanderbeek, as has been mentioned. Spending is not an issue with these owners. Spending money does exactly jack sh!t for this franchise right now.

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This made me laugh, although I do think you are being a bit unfair here.

He clearly feels he still has something to give, and let's be honest the man has probably forgotten more about hockey than the knowledge of the posters on this board combined.

He is a huge asset to any team. Considering the mantra from Toronto has been one of installing discipline and values to the team whilst acknowledging tradition is there a better man than Lou?

Clearly his time here was up, but there is nothing to say that his values and work ethic won't massively improve a team who have been piss poor for some time.

 

Well i was joking of course.

 

But I do think Lou was simply going insane not calling the shots. He's been a control freak for decades, now he can't do thing his way and had to watch. There's no way it was not driving him nuts. PLUS Shero was doing the opposite of what he would have done for some stuff. 

Edited by SterioDesign

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He was clearly talking about Vanderbeek, as has been mentioned. Spending is not an issue with these owners. Spending money does exactly jack sh!t for this franchise right now.

 

The team is presently last in spending but Lou left because an owner who sold the team two years ago?  Yeah, ok.

 

Spending very well may not mean anything now, I agree.  The owners and Shero decided to make the team in their own image and I very much hope that to succeed.  But Lou obviously saw spending more than the cap floor as necessary to turn the team around more quickly.  So long as the Devils do turn around, I'm fine with, but don't blame Lou leaving now on VDB when he hasn't been around in 2 years.

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The team is presently last in spending but Lou left because an owner who sold the team two years ago? Yeah, ok.

Spending very well may not mean anything now, I agree. The owners and Shero decided to make the team in their own image and I very much hope that to succeed. But Lou obviously saw spending more than the cap floor as necessary to turn the team around more quickly. So long as the Devils do turn around, I'm fine with, but don't blame Lou leaving now on VDB when he hasn't been around in 2 years.

He didn't leave because of a perceived lack of spending, he left because he still wanted to be a GM and he wasn't going to be one here anymore. This isn't hard to grasp man. He still had the itch. That's all it comes down to. When the team is ready to compete again, the owners will spend money.

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how awesome of lou to put out that letter to the fans in the paper.. truely classy! ill miss the team having this guy as the "boss" but im excited to see certain things change like our fan experience side of things

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The team is presently last in spending but Lou left because an owner who sold the team two years ago?  Yeah, ok.

 

Spending very well may not mean anything now, I agree.  The owners and Shero decided to make the team in their own image and I very much hope that to succeed.  But Lou obviously saw spending more than the cap floor as necessary to turn the team around more quickly.  So long as the Devils do turn around, I'm fine with, but don't blame Lou leaving now on VDB when he hasn't been around in 2 years.

 

What Lou said is that he had thought about possibly moving on from the Devils when he was handcuffed in what he wanted to do under Vanderbeek, so it's not something that just occurred to him overnight.  You are reading into things.

Edited by Triumph

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The team is presently last in spending but Lou left because an owner who sold the team two years ago?  Yeah, ok.

 

Spending very well may not mean anything now, I agree.  The owners and Shero decided to make the team in their own image and I very much hope that to succeed.  But Lou obviously saw spending more than the cap floor as necessary to turn the team around more quickly.  So long as the Devils do turn around, I'm fine with, but don't blame Lou leaving now on VDB when he hasn't been around in 2 years.

 

Would you trust Lou with an open checkbook after the Ryder, Havlat, Brunner, and Clowe deals?  I know I wouldn't and I would be damned if Lou was kept on and given carte blanche only to sign the Frolik's and the Belesky's of the world to big contracts this summer.

 

Plus the Devils are in the middle of signing Larsson long-term and giving Zacha a deal.  They will be plenty above the cap floor with just even the Larsson contract.

 

Also there was that famous quote by Sather when he was still with the Oilers back in the 90's where he said "if I had the Rangers payroll. I'd never lose a game."  Well he did from 2000-2004 and they failed to make the playoffs in each of his first four seasons.  The team didn't start to turn a corner until the cap was instituted and he was able focus on spending wiser.

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Would you trust Lou with an open checkbook after the Ryder, Havlat, Brunner, and Clowe deals?  I know I wouldn't and I would be damned if Lou was kept on and given carte blanche only to sign the Frolik's and the Belesky's of the world to big contracts this summer.

 

Plus the Devils are in the middle of signing Larsson long-term and giving Zacha a deal.  They will be plenty above the cap floor with just even the Larsson contract.

 

Also there was that famous quote by Sather when he was still with the Oilers back in the 90's where he said "if I had the Rangers payroll. I'd never lose a game."  Well he did from 2000-2004 and they failed to make the playoffs in each of his first four seasons.  The team didn't start to turn a corner until the cap was instituted and he was able focus on spending wiser.

 

Sather still had his share of really awful signings when the cap was instituted.  The Rangers success in recent years has been due to very good drafting -- with the giant exception of McIlrath which might have cost the Rangers the Cup -- and other teams inexplicably parting with good players to take players Sather was looking to dump. 

 

By contrast, Lou's free agent signings, with the exception of the cap crunch that would come from not being able to unload Rolston, have been more or less innocuous, and are not the reason why the Devils are where they are.  Unfortunate drafting (not completely the GM's purview) and not being able to pull off those total swindles (a trick not easily repeated) have a lot more to do with it. 

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I look at our team and think "who should be spending money on?" I mean, they signed Cory to a long term deal - that was this ownership. I think he was talking about JVB. Most teams don't sign huge FAs anymore, they don't make it to FA as much -  the money is for homegrown guys - which we don't have a ton of.

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Sather still had his share of really awful signings when the cap was instituted.  The Rangers success in recent years has been due to very good drafting -- with the giant exception of McIlrath which might have cost the Rangers the Cup -- and other teams inexplicably parting with good players to take players Sather was looking to dump. 

 

By contrast, Lou's free agent signings, with the exception of the cap crunch that would come from not being able to unload Rolston, have been more or less innocuous, and are not the reason why the Devils are where they are.  Unfortunate drafting (not completely the GM's purview) and not being able to pull off those total swindles (a trick not easily repeated) have a lot more to do with it. 

 

Sather isn't perfect by a longshot, but he knew when to cut the cord when he needed to.  Examples are when he shipped long-time favorites Leetch and Graves out of town.  Over the past 4-5 years we have had Lou give out lifetime achievement contracts to Marty, Salvador, Zubrus, and Elias to an extent.  His fetish for former Devils like with Shanahan, Holik and Sullivan who were all finished didn't help things and pointed to Lou being completely out of ideas.

 

I really do think that the current owners were only half interested or exploring the idea of moving Lou out of the GM chair when the season was in its final days.  I think what sealed his fate was his "2 forwards away" comment that really sealed his fate.  Anyone with any sort of remedial hockey knowledge and at least one working eye can see that this was far from the case and I think it scared the crap out of the owners.  Just form that comment you know that either means trading for Kessel or signing one or two FA in this year's crap FA pool.  That also somewhat implies that he would have kept Bernier and Gomez, and 24 days into UFA they are still not signed by the other 29 teams.

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For the first time EVER it feels like the Devils are rudderless. Even during this sh!tty run of 2012-now, I always felt deep down...Lou will figure it out, Lou will change with the times, everything is OK as long as Lou is here, the good times won't last forever, he can right the ship.

 

Now he's gone, new ownership has forced him out and all of a sudden...it's like I don't know these Devils anymore.

 

I suppose it might work. It did when Jerry Jones kicked Landry to the curb, it didn't when the Isles forced Torrey out.

 

I think this ownership group did show patience with Lou. 3 straight years of no playoffs and no forwards at all is patient enough. Still if you'd ask me who I have more faith in going forward Lou/Conte or Shero/?...I'd say Lou.

 

It is a little scary isn't it? No matter which player left us over the years, there was always Lou. Now there's nothing: nothing to guarantee the Devils philosophy that we are so used to will remain in tact or that we can become the great success that we were. Lou made us feel special for a long time because we were so consistently good. Now we're just like any other bad to average team, with no hint of the pieces that made our team great.

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Nothing lasts forever. Although it pains me to see him go, it was time. Still doesn't seem real though.

I have the utmost respect for the man and everything he did for the organization and, in turn, it's fans. Without Lou there likely are no parking lot parades in 1995, 2003, and 2003, and likely no team to root for today. I wish him nothing but the best in everything he does.

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What Lou said is that he had thought about possibly moving on from the Devils when he was handcuffed in what he wanted to do under Vanderbeek, so it's not something that just occurred to him overnight.  You are reading into things.

 

This is what TG wrote:

 

Last esason under Harris and Blitze,  the team was mroe than $ 4 milliion under the cap and  heading into the 2015-16, it appears the Devils will be one of the lowest-spending teams in the league.

“Maybe it was a process of the way things have gone in the last five years in New Jersey,” Lamoriello said. “There's a lot of things that have transpired there. Some are public and some are not with references to changes in ownership and I would say things just weren't the way they were in the past and you weren't allowed to do some of the things for financial reasons, to be perfectly honest, and it really started to change a little. And I think that when Josh Harris and David Blitzer came in, they changed that and I just thought that maybe there was a change in a thought process as far as a transition and I decided to look that way.

“Then, when this situation came about, it just raised my level back to where it had been about five years ago.”

 

 

 He didn't leave when VDB was still owner, he left now.  Sure he thought about it, that's why he said 5 years.  But he left today, not 5 years ago.  You guys are just giving the owners every benefit of the doubt.  Sure you can make tangential claims like, "Who would we have gotten?" but we won't know because we don't know the restrictions they were under.  Maybe we trade for Kessel, maybe we signed Statsny, maybe a lot of things.  But when the GM and President references financials as a reason he left, it wasn't because of the guy that signed his checks a couple years ago; that would be irrational of him.  That isn't reading into anything, that is reading common, rational human action.  VDB is to blame for the financial struggles and why Lou began to feel shackled, but Lou stayed on beyond VDB and left with these owners.  He did have the itch still but he referenced financial restrictions of why he didn't stay in NJ too.  You can't ignore that.

Edited by themightyall

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I'm sorry, is Holik really playing the loyalty card?

YOU SIGNED WITH THE FKING RANGERS. YOU DONT GET TO PLAY THE LOYALTY CARD, BOBBY.

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This is what TG wrote:

 

 

 He didn't leave when VDB was still owner, he left now.  Sure he thought about it, that's why he said 5 years.  But he left today, not 5 years ago.  You guys are just giving the owners every benefit of the doubt.  Sure you can make tangential claims like, "Who would we have gotten?" but we won't know because we don't know the restrictions they were under.  Maybe we trade for Kessel, maybe we signed Statsny, maybe a lot of things.  But when the GM and President references financials as a reason he left, it wasn't because of the guy that signed his checks a couple years ago; that would be irrational of him.  That isn't reading into anything, that is reading common, rational human action.  VDB is to blame for the financial struggles and why Lou began to feel shackled, but Lou stayed on beyond VDB and left with these owners.  He did have the itch still but he referenced financial restrictions of why he didn't stay in NJ too.  You can't ignore that.

 

Maybe, but I'm inclined to believe that he blames a lot of the recent struggles on financial instability that arose during the Vanderbeek ownership. Lou is a very proud guy and will not ever publicly give excuses for poor performance, but I think that's what this is in reference to.

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This is what TG wrote:

 

 

 He didn't leave when VDB was still owner, he left now.  Sure he thought about it, that's why he said 5 years.  But he left today, not 5 years ago.  You guys are just giving the owners every benefit of the doubt.  Sure you can make tangential claims like, "Who would we have gotten?" but we won't know because we don't know the restrictions they were under.  Maybe we trade for Kessel, maybe we signed Statsny, maybe a lot of things.  But when the GM and President references financials as a reason he left, it wasn't because of the guy that signed his checks a couple years ago; that would be irrational of him.  That isn't reading into anything, that is reading common, rational human action.  VDB is to blame for the financial struggles and why Lou began to feel shackled, but Lou stayed on beyond VDB and left with these owners.  He did have the itch still but he referenced financial restrictions of why he didn't stay in NJ too.  You can't ignore that.

 

If Lou means the current owners and they were the ones to handcuff him in not signing the Belesky's and Vermette's of the world this summer, then I am with the owners on this one.

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This is what TG wrote:

 

 

 He didn't leave when VDB was still owner, he left now.  Sure he thought about it, that's why he said 5 years.  But he left today, not 5 years ago.  You guys are just giving the owners every benefit of the doubt.  Sure you can make tangential claims like, "Who would we have gotten?" but we won't know because we don't know the restrictions they were under.  Maybe we trade for Kessel, maybe we signed Statsny, maybe a lot of things.  But when the GM and President references financials as a reason he left, it wasn't because of the guy that signed his checks a couple years ago; that would be irrational of him.  That isn't reading into anything, that is reading common, rational human action.  VDB is to blame for the financial struggles and why Lou began to feel shackled, but Lou stayed on beyond VDB and left with these owners.  He did have the itch still but he referenced financial restrictions of why he didn't stay in NJ too.  You can't ignore that.

 

 

This isn't about giving the owners benefit of the doubt or not. It's hard to understand exactly what Lou said or not, and even if he blamed everything on the new owners, would it bother me? No.

 

These owners have deep deep pockets. They spent a ton of money on other things within the organization, and up to this off-season, I am betting Lou would have been able to sign any free agent he'd want. 

 

As for what Lou was probably saying, it's mostly about the Parise stuff. That's where the organization has not been able to recover from. Not only did they not sign him, but that off-season they didn't replace him with a single NHL free agent. Plan B(utler) was a shame. Lou couldn't do a thing, so I think that's mostly what he is referring too.

 

Obviously, the Devils are where they are now for a reason, but I don't think Lou was told the Devils would not be spending money this off-season in Feb or March when he was already looking for a new GM. 

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This is what TG wrote:

 

 

 He didn't leave when VDB was still owner, he left now.  Sure he thought about it, that's why he said 5 years.  But he left today, not 5 years ago.  You guys are just giving the owners every benefit of the doubt.  Sure you can make tangential claims like, "Who would we have gotten?" but we won't know because we don't know the restrictions they were under.  Maybe we trade for Kessel, maybe we signed Statsny, maybe a lot of things.  But when the GM and President references financials as a reason he left, it wasn't because of the guy that signed his checks a couple years ago; that would be irrational of him.  That isn't reading into anything, that is reading common, rational human action.  VDB is to blame for the financial struggles and why Lou began to feel shackled, but Lou stayed on beyond VDB and left with these owners.  He did have the itch still but he referenced financial restrictions of why he didn't stay in NJ too.  You can't ignore that.

 

Again, those words are in Lou speak and impossible to parse properly.  "There's a lot of things that have transpired there. Some are public and some are not with references to changes in ownership and I would say things just weren't the way they were in the past and you weren't allowed to do some of the things for financial reasons, to be perfectly honest, and it really started to change a little. And I think that when Josh Harris and David Blitzer came in, they changed that and I just thought that maybe there was a change in a thought process as far as a transition and I decided to look that way."  How can you possibly interpret what this means in full?  'They changed that' - what does that refer to?  

 

The Devils couldn't afford Stastny last off-season because of the salary cap, which they were still quite close to last year when you consider potential bonus overages.  They have nowhere near the prospect base for Kessel - you do realize that Kaspari Kapanen, Zacha aside, would be the Devils' best forward prospect and it wouldn't even be close, right?  The Devils have no one like that.  And the Leafs are in the same exact spot the Devils are in - they're farther along, but they're not going to be good next year either.

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This isn't about giving the owners benefit of the doubt or not. It's hard to understand exactly what Lou said or not, and even if he blamed everything on the new owners, would it bother me? No.

 

These owners have deep deep pockets. They spent a ton of money on other things within the organization, and up to this off-season, I am betting Lou would have been able to sign any free agent he'd want. 

 

As for what Lou was probably saying, it's mostly about the Parise stuff. That's where the organization has not been able to recover from. Not only did they not sign him, but that off-season they didn't replace him with a single NHL free agent. Plan B(utler) was a shame. Lou couldn't do a thing, so I think that's mostly what he is referring too.

 

Obviously, the Devils are where they are now for a reason, but I don't think Lou was told the Devils would not be spending money this off-season in Feb or March when he was already looking for a new GM. 

 

I still think that offseason once Parise was off the table they should have gone after Semin. He and Kovalchuk I think could have been good together. Obviously Kovalchuk later left us high and dry, but who knows how things might have been different if we gave him someone to play with.

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As for the past posts trying to say what Lou is saying about ownership --

 

Think about the situations / opportunities (as you all are).  Think about the action taken by both sides.  Then think about what rings true.

 

What I read is a bunch of bullsh!t - because Lou cannot lie -- he's giving a few cues for people to invent his pride saving reasons for exiting. 

 

The bottom line is the new owners have a specific vision.  Lou has a specific vision.  Lou was given the time it took for the new owners to get their bearing to right the ship.  He did not. He did not earn the trust or respect of the management brought in by the new owners - quite the opposite.  Neither side gave anything more than lip service to the other in terms of respect.  Neither side was willing to cooperate.   Lou's past was irrelevant and his present was unsuccessful -- he was therefore fired.

 

Both sides hamstrung each other.  I prefer Lou's values.  I think the new ownership way is formulaic and kind of trashy.  I'm not convinced it won't work.  I'm not convinced it will.  I find the Leafs story infinitely more compelling at this point in time.   This is a Penguins re-tread from the marketing guys of PA sports scene - yeah -- that spells winner all over it - but it doesn't spell loser.  The Leafs have a silly gathering of the great minds of hockey.  That just has goofiness written all over it but a fun goofiness - as Terry Pratchett might write "it's a million to one shot, but it just might work" kind of goofiness. Maybe Don Quixote even... :evil:   I love a good story.  I am not a fan of anyone who's primary goal is profit.  That's the Harris/Blitzer mindset.  It takes away from the quality of the success for me. It detracts from the joy of "winning"  the high isn't as high and the product isn't enjoyable if I feel it's a contrivance.

 

 

Wait a sec -  I stand corrected - I see Vanderbeek as Don Quixote -- and he all the while calling Lou his Poncho Via  HAHA!  Sancho Panza :smilegah: and Lou throwing up and trying to figure out how to keep  this asshoe from destroying his legacy.  :rofl:

Edited by Pepperkorn

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Again, those words are in Lou speak and impossible to parse properly.  "There's a lot of things that have transpired there. Some are public and some are not with references to changes in ownership and I would say things just weren't the way they were in the past and you weren't allowed to do some of the things for financial reasons, to be perfectly honest, and it really started to change a little. And I think that when Josh Harris and David Blitzer came in, they changed that and I just thought that maybe there was a change in a thought process as far as a transition and I decided to look that way."  How can you possibly interpret what this means in full?  'They changed that' - what does that refer to?  

 

The Devils couldn't afford Stastny last off-season because of the salary cap, which they were still quite close to last year when you consider potential bonus overages.  They have nowhere near the prospect base for Kessel - you do realize that Kaspari Kapanen, Zacha aside, would be the Devils' best forward prospect and it wouldn't even be close, right?  The Devils have no one like that.  And the Leafs are in the same exact spot the Devils are in - they're farther along, but they're not going to be good next year either.

 

You do realize that you are arguing exactly what I said is too short sighted to argue, right? I gave two hypotheticals, and then said maybe a lot of things.  Maybe Lou had a deal that would've gotten him Stamkos, we don't know what could have happened.  Sure, look at the cap when Stastny was signed or what the Pens gave up for Kessel.  Who's to say TO didn't want a great D prospect or that we would've bought out/traded our dead weight for Stastny space?  That's not the point of what we are talking about (which I said it in the sentence before stating it) so enough about that.

 

But to what we are actually talking about is simply this.  We can interpret this words, sure.  But Lou didn't leave 5 years ago on VDB, he left under Harris.  In leaving, he referenced two things:  his drive to still be making decisions and the financial situation of the Devils.  I don't see in validity to saying it was VDB because he has been gone for two years.  Say it was sour grapes (which I can actually see somewhat), say it was at least some Harris, but don't tell me that Harris is yet again the only angel.

Edited by themightyall

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