On Thursday, October 25th – the NYIBC had their initial meeting of the season, at the Northwell Ice Center in East Meadow. We were honored to have new Islanders President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello be our guest.
He spent about an hour walking up and down the room, answering questions with a great deal of honesty, candor and at times with great humor. He provided the vision of what he wants to see from the team for this season, and beyond. He really feels that this team can compete now, despite the changes made, but he thinks it will be about 20 games before he gets a real strong idea of where they stand.
He spent a good deal of time talking about the John Tavares scenario. Paraphrasing his comments:
First of all, Let me Just say that John is a Tremendous Human being. He’s a terrific Player, A Very Hard worker, has an Incredible Personality and is an Incredible Human being. He spent “X” amount of years with the Islanders and he earned his right to be a Free Agent. He took advantage of his Opportunity and went to where he felt he had the best chance to win. It’s like when your Child finishes High School and has to choose where they want to go to College. They earned that right to choose what school they want to go to. John did what was best for him and his family. Ownership at the time wanted to keep John around and thought they could keep him. I know it’s hard for the fans, but I know that this was a very difficult for John as well. It wasn’t an easy decision for him to make.
He dispelled some rumors – for example – Russian prospect Ilya Sorokin – there was talk that he was not coming over with former GM Garth Snow in charge; Lou said that was 100% false. We also found out that Doug Weight is no longer with the organization and Snow is the Senior Advisor to Lamoriello.
He had some nice things to say about new Islanders netminder Robin Lehner :
On Lehner: I’ve known Robin since his time in Sweden and throughout his career. I knew he was struggling the past couple of seasons. We decided to give him a call, Fly him in and talk to him. He was Determined and motiviated. Barry Trotz had a conversation with him as well and when we signed Robin, He immediately moved to the Island.
The following was commentary on Thomas Greiss:
Thomas is a Terrific young man, He is a Family Guy, His work ethic is exceptional and I feel like he can help this team. A Player can not be judged based on one bad season. I remember when I was in New Jersey, I would have conversations with Martin Brodeur and I would ask him “Does the Puck look like a Golf Ball or a Basketball today?” and he would tell me what it would look like after that game. Some games, He would tell me it would look like a Golf Ball and a Basketball the next few. You need to have faith in your players, if you don’t have faith in them because they had a bad year, you won’t get the most out of them.
He talked about the fact that in order for a team to win – it is like a pyramid – each piece supports one another. If one part cracks, or crumbles, another piece is there to support the weight. You need to have the right amount of chemistry and not only on the ice, but in the locker room as well.
He saw some of the plans for the new building at Belmont – and he is real pleased with how it is going to look, and knows that the players and the fans will love and embrace the new facility.
The Booster Club thanks Lou for coming to visit us. We know that we believe in the three time Stanley Cup Champion manager, and knows he is doing what it takes to make the Islanders a strong entity once again.