You really have to hand it to Devils GM Lou Lamoriello.
He was way over the cap, everyone knew he was over the cap, the season was minutes aways, and he had a bunch of unsigned players.
I really thought he’d have to give away a quality player to clear cap space. But Lamoriello didn’t blink. He hung tough.
And now everyone is signed, and the team is under the cap.
Bob McKenzie says other GMs aren’t happy about Lamoriello’s maneuvering, saying (behind closed doors) that Lamoriello might have gotten away with something.
The crazy thing is, as smart as Lamoriello is, it really took just two bad signings to almost derail his team for the next few seasons. You have to wonder how things will be in upcoming seasons, when GMs start to feel bolder about their moves. In the new NHL, there’s very little margin for error. Lamoriello was lucky in a lot of ways — not every team has players, like Brian Gionta, who are willing to sit without a contract while they wait for their GM to work out a plan.
Also, the Times checked in on visors in the NHL. There was nothing especially interesting except for a line from the Sabres’ Adam Mair: “The only thing I personally don’t like about it is, it tends to create a little carelessness with sticks.”
I watched some old hockey on MSG over the summer and you’re really struck by how different the game was when the players didn’t wear helmets. There’s a lot less contact and work against the boards. I’m sure all things being equal, everyone is safer with helmets, but it seems like it might bring out the aggression in certain types of players.