Maple Leafs announce Lou Lamoriello will not return as general manager

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the market for a new general manager. The team announced Monday that Lou Lamoriello would not return in the role next season. Lamoriello, 75, has served as the Leafs’ general manager since 2015, when he left the New Jersey Devils to help lead Toronto’s rebuilding process. Lamoriello had spent 27 seasons as general manager of the Devils, winning three Stanley Cups in New Jersey.

That rebuilding in Toronto has gone well, as the Leafs have established a solid young core that has delivered a postseason berth in each of the past two seasons — including a franchise-record 105 points this season. However, they’ve yet to advance out of the first round.

While Lamoriello will no longer be calling the shots on the team’s roster construction, he may remain with the organization in a front office role.

“Three years ago, Lou and I agreed on a contract that would see him serve as general manager of the Maple Leafs for three years and then transition to senior adviser for the following four years,” said team president Brendan Shanahan in a release. “This morning I informed Lou that I was not going to deviate from that course of action.

Lamoriello said on Monday afternoon that he intends to stick to that plan.

The two have a bit of history together. In addition to leaving his longtime post in New Jersey to work under Shanahan, the current Leafs president was Lamoriello’s first draft pick in New Jersey.

As for who could be in line to replace Lamoriello in Toronto’s general manager office, it’s believed that the Maple Leafs will promote from within. That means that the job will likely go to one of their two assistant general managers, Kyle Dubas and Mark Hunter.

The 32-year-old Dubas is somewhat of a hockey front office prodigy. At 25, the analytics guru was hired to serve as general manager of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and was successful at evaluating young talent. He served in that role until joining the Maple Leafs front office in 2014. 

Hunter, 55, has taken a more traditional route to the front office. He’s a former NHL player who spent time in coaching and front office roles before being hired as director of player personnel for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014. A year later, he was promoted to assistant GM alongside Dubas. 

It seems likely that the Leafs will choose to promote one (or possibly both) of those guys to take the reigns moving forward. If they only pick one, it will be interesting to see whether the other chooses to stick around.

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