Photo by sarah sosiak
According to the New York Post the New Jersey Devils turned down a better offer from the Flyers for Jamie Langenbrunner. Instead, the Devils dealt him to Dallas.
It seems Devils GM Lou Lamoriello didn’t want to deal Langenbrunner to a division rival, although Lamoriello told the Post he would, in theory, make a deal with a fellow Atlantic team.
So why didn’t Lamoriello go for the better deal?
It could be that the Flyers’ offer wasn’t a firm one.
It could be that the Flyers’ offer came in too late.
Or it could be that despite his protests, Lamoriello didn’t want to trade his team captain to another Atlantic team.
The conditional draft pick from Dallas supports that theory. Langenbrunner is a player who’s made for the playoffs. He’s the type of player who is always in demand at the trade deadline.
So maybe the Flyers didn’t give Lamoriello a firm trade offer. Waiting would have resolved that. The offer would have either become firm or it would have been pulled back. Either way, I’m sure Dallas would have still been interested. Especially given that the man on the other end of the telephone in Dallas was Joe Nieuwendyk, a friend of Langenbrunner’s.
If the better offer from the Flyers came in after the Dallas offer, that just shows the value of waiting to make a deal. Lamoriello could have given Dallas the chance to match the offer, thus getting more than a conditional draft pick for Langenbrunner.
And what if the division rival thing was the issue?
It’s kind of silly for Lamoriello to even worry about making the Flyers better this year. The Devils are awful. They’re an uncompetitive team and it seems like they might not be competitive for the next season or two. The Flyers have more than twice as many points as the Devils. How much better could Langenbrunner have made them? And at 35 years old, how many more years would the Devils have had to face the Langenbrunner-enhanced Flyers? Two? Three? That’s assuming the Flyers even re-signed him, which is a huge if.
So while I can see why Lamoriello wouldn’t want to go out of his way to make another Atlantic team better, if the deal is also going to make the Devils better, why not make it?
It’s just the latest example of Lamoriello making choices that weaken the Devils. Instead of playing without their captain, but having two draft picks, they’re sitting without their captain and just one conditional draft pick.
Lamoriello has been a great GM for over 20 years. He’s built incredible teams and he’s made some fantastic moves. But lately, he can’t get out of his own way. Maybe it’s time for someone else to handle the day-to-day GM duties. Maybe it’s time to get a fresh pair of eyes helping him.
Because lately, it seems like Lamoriello can’t do anything right.
Maybe it’s time for him to get some help. The only alternative might be letting Lamoriello run the Devils into the ground.