The New Jersey Devils announced a hasty conference call on Tuesday. Speculation was a contract extension or Martin Brodeur’s inevitable job with the organization would be announced.
Instead, it was a bombshell: Lou Lamoriello was giving up his job as general manager, which he’s held since 1987, and handing it to former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, effective immediately.
Lamoriello will remain with the team as team president on the hockey side, and will work with Shero. But he said Shero has the final call in matters like hiring the Devils’ next coach.
“It was a big attraction for me to have Lou stay on,” said Shero, who was fired by the Penguins last summer. “It’s a great situation for me. I’m really looking forward to it.”
The Devils, once a dominant organization that won three Stanley Cups in the span of eight years, have missed the playoffs in three straight seasons. The fired head coach Pete DeBoer this season, replacing him with a three-headed monster of Lamoriello, Adam Oates and Scott Stevens behind the bench.
Lamoriello said the decision was “100 percent” his, and that it wasn’t a case where the team’s ownership forced him out. The Devils were sold to Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris and business partner Davie Blitzer in 2013.
He cited his age (72) as a consideration, but ultimately felt getting an executive like Shero in place was for the best for the organization. And since Shero was in high demand, he had to make the hire now.
Shero was fired last summer by the Pengujns after having built a Stanley Cup winner in Pittsburgh after being hired in 2006.
He said he has a lot of evaluation to do within the organization, but cited a more offensive system as something he’d eye for the Devils – something in contrast with that of Lamoriello’s philosophy.
“Get maybe someone who’s had experiences in different organization, but a background in winning,” said Lamoriello.
“I would assume we’ll have some types of changes than I do. So be it. That’s progression.”
MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS