Move over Jerry Jones, Al Davis, and George Steinbrenner. There’s a new kook in town and his name is Lou Lamoriello.
No one can dispute the success the New Jersey Devils have had for over a decade. The mad genius behind it all was Lamoriello. That’s why questioning his judgment is so hard. He had a blueprint and implemented it on his terms not unlike the organizational standards we see with the New England Patriots.
Last week Lamoriello pulled a fast one by firing head coach Claude Julien with three darn games left to play in the season. Someone should tell him that April Fool’s does not last a week.
The reason? Lamoriello told the Canadian Press, "I did not feel that we were going in the right direction, both mentally and hockey(-wise), going into the playoffs, for a variety of reasons." He went on to say that we were not privy to the inner realities of the club.
That’s what was reported. Apparently, Lamoriello doesn’t do these things without valid reasons.
Perhaps. But all I know is that a coach was fired for being successful. The Devils had 102 points and were leading the Atlantic division. And Julien did this without John Madden, Brian Gionta, or Patrick Elias for parts of the season! Granted, they have not been playing their best Devilish hockey, but to fire a guy this late in the season? What could he possibly have done to merit this? Why so late?
Another rumour has it that he left a message on the phone informing of Julien’s firing. Classy. That’s twice now Julien has been fired in such an unprofessional manner. Bob Gainey did the same thing to him in Montreal.
I gotta tell you, I feel for Julien. He’s actually a good coach. He has had to make good with limited resources. His reward? “Uh, yeah, Claude Lou here. Yeah, this is tough but, um, like don’t bother to show up to work tomorrow. You’re canned. Ciao.”