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Free-agent interview period irks Lamoriello

Free-agent interview period irks Lamoriello
Published On: Wed, Jul 11
Apr 4, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils co- coach Adam Oates (L) and president and general manager Lou Lamoriello look on during the game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Devils 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Like the rest of the organization he now runs, Lou Lamoriello is excited about the Islandersa€™ plan to play home games at a modern arena at Belmont Park. But the president and general manager also is focusing on shorter-term goals to improve the franchise.

a€œIta€™s certainly big for the fans and the organization and for the future of the organization when you have ownership in Scott Malkin committed,a€ Lamoriello told Newsday in a telephone interview on Monday. a€œWe know ita€™s going to come about. Ia€™ve had the opportunity to see the plans. Ita€™s something exciting. Ita€™s a state-of-the-art facility. The players should also be excited. But thata€™s a little bit away. We have to focus on how we play now.a€

Lamoriello has been extremely busy since being hired on May 22, notably hiring coach Barry Trotz on June 21, two weeks after Trotz lifted the Stanley Cup with the Capitals.

Monday was no different. The Islanders signed Czech-born center Jan Kovar out of the KHL and re-signed left wing Ross Johnston, a restricted free agent. Lamoriello continues to build organizational depth despite losing free agent John Tavares, who got a seven-year, $77-million deal from his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this month.

The Islanders and Maple Leafs, along with the Sharks, Lightning, Stars and Bruins, made presentations to Tavares and his agent, Pat Brisson, in Los Angeles during the negotiating window leading up to the start of free agency.

a€œI was extremely disappointed with the window of interviews; that was not the intention of how the league and union intended it,a€ said Lamoriello, declining to go into further details as to what irked him about the process. a€œI was very disappointed with the way the process was. Ia€™ve never seen it like this one.a€

The Islanders have missed the playoffs the past two seasons and have won only one series since 1993, but Lamoriello is optimistic about the teama€™s future.

Read the complete news article here...

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