Montreal (AFP) – The Toronto Maple Leafs, ousted again in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs, announced Monday that Stanley Cup-winning executive Lou Lamoriello will not return as general manager.
Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said the move is the next stage in a plan the pair put in place in 2015 which resulted in the Leafs making the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since 2003-04.
“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,” Shanahan said. “This morning I informed Lou that I was not going to deviate from that course of action.
“I will now focus all of my attention towards making a decision regarding our next general manager.”
Lamoriello, who is 75, directed the New Jersey Devils to Stanley Cups in 1995, 2000 and 2003 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 before leaving to join the Maple leafs in 2015.
“His leadership in helping establish a cultural foundation, as well as his invaluable mentorship to everyone in this organization, has been instrumental in our development,” Shanahan said.
The Maple Leafs have not captured the Stanley Cup since 1967 and have not won a playoff series since 2004. They had not reached the playoffs for 10 of 11 seasons before qualifying in 2016.
Toronto lost to Boston last Wednesday in the seventh game of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series.
The Maple Leafs have revived their fortunes after winning the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery and taking US standout Auston Matthews with the top pick. Matthews won last year’s Calder Trophy as the top NHL rookie.