With the Stanley Cup playoffs coming to an end, many teams that either missed the playoffs or were eliminated from the playoffs are making coaching changes, or we\’ll be talking about today, front office changes. Two teams made big decisions earlier, like the New York Islanders, who hired former Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations. The big GM, or general manager spot for the Minnesota Wild now belongs to former Nashville Predators AGM Paul Fenton.
For the Isles, Lamoriello is a highly experienced executive who has built two teams already. His tenure with the Devils, a 28 year one that lasted from 1987 to 2015, is the third longest tenure for a GM in NHL history, behind Conn Smythe and Art Ross, who both have big time trophies named after them. He built the Devils, a team that never had a winning season before his hiring, to three Stanley cup victories. After resigning in 2015, Lamoriello went to the Maple Leafs, and created the Auston Matthews,, Mitch Marner and William Nylander trio that they currently have. With John Tavares about to be a free agent, the time is perfect to hire a great executive like Lamoriello, who\’s son, Chris is already AGM of the team.
For the Wild, Fenton, who had a decent NHL career, including one 32 goal season (he played for the Hartford Whalers, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks), was recently the assistant general manager of the Nashville Predators, last year\’s Western Conference champions. He also was the GM of the Milwaukee Admirals, the Predators\’ AHL team. There isn\’t much beyond that for Fenton, but he was a finalist for other teams\’ GM job, like the Carolina Hurricanes, but stayed with the Predators until their elimination in the playoffs.