It’s been a rough offseason for New Jersey Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello as he’s watched his best player sign with another team in free agency, listened to pundits criticize him for failing to do more and watched odds makers drop the Devils odds of returning to the Stanley Cup final next season making them a long shot in the NHL picks. And even through all of that, Lamoriello did get a big piece of good news: he’s been elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
There are 153 members in the Hall and Lamoriello will be joined by Mike Modano and Ed Olczyk as this year’s class. Considering everything Lamoriello has accomplished in his career, it’s not surprising that he got the call.
Under Lamoriello’s watch, the New Jersey Devils have been one of the most successful teams in the NHL. They won three Stanley Cups (1995, 2000 and 2003) and played in the Cup final this year. Overall, the team has made the playoffs in 21 of the last 23 seasons, which is a remarkable feat given how much parity there is in the league these days.
Lamoriello has already been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (2009), so an invitation from the American version was all but assumed. He’s often known as a frugal general manager, opting to look for value in free agency opposed to hosting big spending sprees, but obviously his tactics have worked. Case and point was the 2011-12 Devils, who were outspend by seven other East teams yet still managed to win the conference.
While this is a sweet accomplishment for Lamoriello, his focus is going to quickly shift back to the Devils very shortly. Not only is he looking to replace Parise in his lineup, he also watched two of his assistant coaches depart as Larry Robinson opted for a quieter lifestyle while Adam Oates left to take over the Washington Capitals bench.