5 reasons why the hiring of Lou Lamoriello is a smart move

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

Former New Jersey Devils general manager and president Lou Lamoriello left the franchise Thursday to become the new GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was a bold move few saw coming, but it actually makes a great deal of sense.

Here are five reasons the Leafs' hiring of Lamoriello is good for both organizations:

He may not hold veto power

Lamoriello said at Thursday's news conference he will have full autonomy but will report to president Brendan Shanahan.

Shanahan hired the man who selected him second overall in 1987, and the president is the one tasked with reshaping the organizational structure.

The Leafs can lean on Lamoriello's wealth of knowledge without giving the 72-year-old the final say on signings or draft decisions.

He also has more contacts than perhaps any other figure in the NHL. Those relationships with dozens of executives, agents, scouts, coaches, and players can only benefit the Maple Leafs.

The club's hierarchy takes some of the heat off the longtime executive and allows for a variety of voices in the room, from 28-year-old assistant GM Kyle Dubas to director of player personnel Mark Hunter and the analytics department.

Old-school thinking complements new analytical approach

Lamoriello's old-school methods of player evaluation can certainly be questioned, but more perspectives are almost always better.

The Leafs can afford to bring in Lamoriello and his proven track record despite his indifference to enhanced stats, as long as he's is willing to consult the team's analytics staff.

Lamoriello's views may not initially mesh with Dubas or his enhanced number-crunchers - Cam Charron, Darryl Metcalf, and Rob Pettapiece - but, if they are willing to work together, the Maple Leafs will have a more informed and well-rounded approach.

He can handle the media heat in Toronto

The Maple Leafs media throng can be a circus at times, but if one man can tame the lions, it's Lamoriello.

His experience dealing with national media over 21 playoff runs, three Stanley Cup championships, and nearly two decades on the international stage with USA Hockey make him well-suited for the pressure cooker of the Toronto market.

The Devils aren't always on the radar in the New York media landscape, but Lamoriello knows how to play the media game like few others in the league.

Under Lamoriello, the Devils rarely leaked stories to the press, and the ones that did leak turned out to be patently false.

Shanahan, Lamoriello, and Babcock are a formidable trio

The Maple Leafs shocked the hockey world when they won the Mike Babcock sweepstakes in May, and hiring Lamoriello produced a similar reaction.

It shouldn't be too surprising, though:Shanahan has said all along that he has a clear vision for the organization's direction, and bringing in Lamoriello as GM provides the team with a stable trio of seasoned hockey minds.

Babcock has been an NHL head coach for over a decade, and Lamoriello's nearly three decades in New Jersey give Shanahan even more experience to draw on as he rebuilds the club.

Ray Shero can now mold the Devils his own way

The hiring has a major impact on the Leafs, but it also significantly affects the Devils.

Lamoriello stepped aside to become New Jersey's president following the hiring of Ray Shero, and the former Pittsburgh Penguins GM now has free rein to shape the Devils the way he wants.

New Jersey still has a handful of unrestricted free agents and about $18 million in cap space, with five more pending UFAs looming in 2016-17.

Shero can now decide how he plans to build the club without having to answer to Lamoriello, whose voice carried enormous weight before his departure.

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5 reasons why the hiring of Lou Lamoriello is a smart move
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