Should Lou Lamoriello Evaluate his position as New Jersey Devils GM?

Jack thetravellerCorrespondent IJune 2, 2009

The single most unfathomable move Mr. Lamoriello the CEO, president and general manager of the New Jersey Devils has made since taking over as GM in 1987, has not been failing to re-sign Brian Rafalski or Scott Niedermayer; their moves were inevitable.  

Both Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski had respectable and very personal motives for joining their current squads.  

Nor was it for letting traitor and "at best a third line center" Scott Gomez doggy paddle across the river to the Blue Shirts.  As my grandfather used to say; good riddance to bad rubbish.  Let them pay his lazy tail 7 mil a season!  There's one less headache to worry about.    

The single worst move Lou as made has been dealing Anssi Salmela, a gifted 24 year old Finnish defenseman to the Atlanta Thrashers for Niclas Havelid, a playoff rental that proved hapless at best. 

Sources tell me that Havelid, since retiring from the NHL and returning to his native Sweden to close out his career, never hid his desire to return to Sweden after the 2009 season.

Lamoriello was fully aware of this when he made the trade, but decided to let Salmela go regardless, a promising young Finish player that CNNSI.com touted as the Devils top young player just prior to this past season, for what amounts to a pittance. 

Will Salmela become a quality defenseman?  Only time will tell.  But the fact remains Havelid for Salmela was one the single most asinine trades I’ve witnessed during my lifetime. 

"If we could've made ourselves better, we would have done that. We could not do that. It would've meant subtracting in order to add," Lamoriello told  Rich Chere of the Newark Star Ledger after the trade deadline had passed. 

Choice words to a reporter who is about as investigative as a Fox News Reporter interviewing a Halliburton exec at the Republican National Convention.   

Did Chere question Lamoriello about the loss of Salmela?  No answer required. 

And his reasoning for not trading Scott Clemmensen, a player, who I like to refer to as the “Saviour of the Season” who was sent down to Lowell for cap reasons; a UFA who publicly pleaded to be traded? 

Mr. Lamoriello was not happy with what was on the table. 

"What I said is we would try (to trade Scott Clemmensen). I also said, whatever we did or didn't do, we'd put the team first," Lamoriello clarified. "Whatever we didn't do was for the best of the team. You have to have depth."

Now Scott Clemmensen, an unrestricted free agent will sign elsewhere, and the Devs will get jack in return.

Niente.  Nada.  Not even a seventh round draft pick.  

I suppose I understand if one is a proponent of Lou’s style, an argument can be made for not trading Clemmensen.  What if Brodeur was hurt during the playoffs? 

My answer to that would be.  Mr. Lamoriello, you shouldn’t have signed Kevin Weekes if you weren’t confident in his ability to take over as backup in the event Brodeur went down.  You signed him.  No one else. 

Mr. Lamoriello deserves all the credit in the world for transforming the Devils from a team Wayne Gretzky, ironically now head coach and part owner the NHL’s contemporary “cartoonish” laughin’ stock, the ’Otes, referred to as a Mickey Mouse Organization, into the championship team, and NHL’s second most successful franchise over the past 15 years, it is.  

Unfortunately he is also responsible for the Devil’s transformation from contender to playoff pretender. 

Im curious how long can the Devil's organization and it's fans continue to rest on their laurels and past successes.   

I know I've about had it. 


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