There were two big stories in the NHL yesterday, and both involved Devils GM Lou Lamoriello.
The first was the announcement of Brent Sutter as coach of the Calgary Flames. There's already been plenty of discussion about that story from Sutter's point of view. But Lamoriello was involved as well—he was the one that gave the Flames permission to speak to Sutter in the first place.
Originally, many fans (myself included) demanded compensation. The coach was still under contract, and Lou had no reason to be nice and give him away. But no compensation was given, and now many fans are calling for Lou's head.
Unfortunately, what those fans don't realize is that Lou couldn't ask for compensation. Those are the rules of the NHL. It may not seem to make sense, but that's how it is. And believe me, Lou would have asked for compensation if he could. A direct quote from Lou:
"You know once you give consent, because of the new rules in the NHL there is no recourse and no compensation. I certainly believe there should be compensation in situations like this for all the obvious reasons, but there isn't. That's a league rule and you accept it."
The fact of the matter is that Lou is trying to sign a coach as well, and needs to ask permission from other teams to talk with potential candidates. To deny the Flames permission and then ask the same of other teams would be hypocritical.
In addition, Lou had no reason to burn a bridge with Flames GM Darryl Sutter, with whom he may have to make a future trade.
The second news story surrounding Lou was the announcement that he'd been voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. This honor is extremely well deserved, and I extend my mazel tov to Lou. He's been one of the best GMs in sports for a very long time.
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