Many people blame Leafs GM Kyle Dubas for the Leafs not having any prospects that are or have been ready to make the jump in recent years, but many people seem to forget that it was Mark Hunter and Lou Lamoriello that were responsible for drafting Leaf prospects between 2015 and 2017. Those drafts have been largely unsuccessful for Leaf prospects (outside of the no-brainers) and have set the Leafs back years in terms of their contention window.
Now, after 5 years with the Islanders, Lamoriello has once again done more harm than good. First, he traded Devon Toews
to Colorado for just two second round picks and now he has to move money out in order to sign RFA defensemen Noah Dobson
and Alex Romanov. Yes, the Islanders have around $11M in cap space, but with the supposed offer of $7M+ per season over a 7-year term on the table for Nazem Kadri
and both Noah Dobson
and Alexander Romanov
still in need of deals, the Islanders could end up well over the cap and be forced to push yet another roster player out into the cold.
Being over the cap isn't the issue. The issue is that the Islanders have one of the worst prospect pools in the league and are nowhere near deep enough or talented enough to be as close to the cap as they will be once they sign Dobson and Romanov. That is thanks to Lou handing out almost $6M per season in long-term deals to his fourth line of Casey Cizikas
, Matt Martin
and Cal Clutterbuck
. Not to mention handing out $7M per season for another 4 years of 32-year-old Anders Lee
and $5M per season to each of Kyle Palmeri and Jean Gabriel Pageau.
Reports indicate that Lou is so desperate to sign Kadri that he is even considering moving Anthony Beauvillier
, who is 6 years younger than Kadri, to be cap compliant.
In his prime, Lamoriello was a great hockey mind and built some Stanley Cup Champions, but there comes a time when a person has to realize that he's long past his prime and that his inability to due his job is actually hurting his team. Unfortunately for Lou, he has yet to realize that his time has passed.
How bad has Lou's work on draft day been? Here's a look at Lamoriello's handiwork over the past 2 decades.