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Lou Lamoriello is currently the longest-serving one-term GM in the NHL. Looking at his accomplishments, it's easy to see why.
Lou was hired as President of the Devils in 1987, and named himself GM—despite no previous NHL experience of any kind. In his first season, the franchise recorded its first winning record ever.
In the years that followed, Lamoriello built up a previously-unknown team to a champion. The Devils made their first Finals appearance in 1995, sweeping the Detroit Red Wings. Since then, the Devils have made four more Finals appearances, winning in 2000 and 2003 and losing in 2001 and 2012.
He's shown time and again that he knows what he's doing when drafting, scoring great picks both super-early in the draft—Scott Niedermayer at third overall in 1991, Bill Guerin fifth overall in 1989—and in later rounds: Patrik Elias (51st overall in 1994), Brian Gionta (82nd overall in 1998) and Adam Henrique (83rd overall in 2008).
In the '90s, Lamoriello seemed to hit his stride of drafting in very late rounds and finding gems for other teams; among those drafted by Lou were Stephane Yelle (186th overall 1992), Valeri Zelepukin (221st overall 1990), Steve Sullivan (233rd overall 1994), Willie Mitchell (199th pick 1996) and Scott Clemmensen (215th overall 1997).
Lamoriello has also excelled with late first-round picks, trading up for Zach Parise in 2003 (17th overall), grabbing Petr Sykora 18th overall in 1995 and, of course, taking the all-time winningest goalie, Martin Brodeur, at 20th overall in 1990.
Additionally, he managed Travis Zajac with a 20th pick (2004), Scott Gomez with a 27th pick (1998) and Brian Rolston with an 11th pick in 1991.
He's also brought some highly talented, undrafted players into the league, including John Madden, David Clarkson and Brian Rafalski, and always seemed to know when to trade for a difference-maker: He acquired Claude Lemieux and Alex Mogilny in 2000, Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner for 2003 and for the team's most recent playoff run, he got Alexei Ponikarovsky and Marek Zidlicky.
In 23 seasons as Devils GM, Lamoriello has only missed two playoffs in 1996 and 2011. He's been a picture of consistency and has given his team a chance to win every single year. He's done everything a GM could be asked to do, and he's done it well.