NEW YORK (AP) — Longtime NHL executive Lou Lamoriello is coming to the New York Islanders, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed Monday.
The person, who sought anonymity because the hiring had not been officially announced, said the deal will likely be completed this week.
It’s not clear whether Lamoriello’s title will be director of hockey operations, general manager or some combination of the two, but it’s expected that he’ll be in charge. It was also uncertain how his hiring would affect current president and general manager Garth Snow, who has four years remaining on his contract.
The 75-year-old Lamoriello led the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cup championships during his 18 years as general manager. He spent the past three seasons as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
News of Lamoriello joining the Islanders was first reported by The Athletic, which also reported that Snow’s deal has a “steep buyout.”
Snow and coach Doug Weight just returned to New York after spending a week at the hockey world championships in Denmark.
The Islanders have missed the playoffs in eight of 12 seasons under Snow, including the last two. They reached the second round of the postseason in 2016 with their only series win since 1993. New York was 35-37-10 this season in Weight’s first full season.
Lamoriello was the Devils’ GM and president of hockey operations from 1987 to 2015, during which the team reached the Stanley Cup final five times and won the title in 1995, 2000 and 2003. His son, Chris, has been assistant GM with the Islanders since 2016.
Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan announced on April 30 that Lamoriello would not return as GM next season, sticking to a plan that called for Lamoriello to serve in that role for three years and then transition to senior adviser for four years.
Lamoriello’s immediate task will be re-signing captain John Tavares, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent July 1. Tavares has said all along he hopes to be back with the only franchise he’s played for, but doesn’t know what will happen.
The 27-year-old just wrapped up the final year of a six-year, $33 million contract. The face of the Islanders since they selected him No. 1 overall in the 2009 draft, Tavares had 37 goals and 47 assists this season, finishing a goal and an assist shy of the career highs he set in 2014-15.