For more information regarding our move, please read the two last post published below.

02 April 2007

Lamoriello fires Julien - The league is shocked, but Devils fans are unsurprised

Once again a Devils coach has been fired midseason, and for the second time in recent memory it's been in the very final stretch of the season. In 2000, Lamoriello fired Rob Ftorek with less than ten games left in the season. Now, in 2007, Claude Julien finds himself out a coaching job - although he apparently will remain inside of the Devils organization - and Lou Lamoriello himself will be back behind the bench.

Lamoriello was definite in his stance that he would never coach again following last season, after a long winning streak which ended against the eventual champions, Carolina, but has reneged on that position and goes back behind the bench.

For the NHL, this comes out of nowhere. The Devils, while they have fallen off slightly from their earlier success, have returned to their winning ways in recent games. But many Devils fans have been far from happy about the recent play of the team, despite the victories, and felt that something was missing which push the team from playoff caliber to serious contender.

From Lamoriello's recent remarks, he and Julien were both aware of this fact as well and have since acted, with Julien's firing, to attempt to rectify the problem. I personally have felt for weeks that the Devils were missing... something undefinable... and so here we are.

Will Julien's firing make the Devils a better team going into the playoffs? I don't know, and I won't ever know, since Julien's Devils no longer exist and they're now Lamoriello's team again. But I do know that yesterday the Devils, while they were a playoff team, were not a Stanley Cup team, in my opinion. This change might not make the team better, but it has the potential to be that spark that every championship team needs to go the distance.

To paraphrase: this would have been an easy to decision not to make, and a difficult one to make, but Lou decided to make the hard decision and go out on that limb, as he has so many times before. There is a reason that Lamoriello is still around, despite 14 coaching changes, 3 owners, and multiple roster remakes during his 19 year tenure as Devils GM. Lou looked at New Jersey, saw a team missing something, something undefinable, and acted to try to make a change which could push the team over the hump. It's not the first time he's done something like this and it will not be the last.

What makes Lou the best GM of the league is that he's willing to make the tough decisions, put himself on the line and submit himself to ridicule, if he believes it will make his team better. Today the Devils strike me as a stronger team than they did yesterday.

The league might not like it, but this is the kind of decision I want my GM to make in a crisis...

0 fanatics have replied:

© 2007 Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.

All Rights Reserved. The content of this blog is the sole opinion of these bloggers and does not represent an opinion of any kind of a professional NHL hockey team mentioned.