Toronto Maple Leafs say Lamoriello will not return as GM next season

TORONTO — Lou Lamoriello will not return as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs next season.

The team made the announcement Monday morning in a news release.

“Three years ago, Lou and I agreed on a contract that would see him serve as general manager of the Maple Leafs for three years and then transition to senior adviser for the following four years,” said team president Brendan Shanahan. “This morning I informed Lou that I was not going to deviate from that course of action.

“I will now focus all of my attention towards making a decision regarding our next general manager.”

Lamoriello, 75, declined to discuss his future plans during the team’s end-of-season availability last Friday. Lamoriello and Shanahan were expected to provide more details on a conference call Monday afternoon.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lou for his tireless work over the last three years as general manager,” Shanahan said in a statement. “His leadership in helping establish a cultural foundation, as well as his invaluable mentorship to everyone in this organization, has been instrumental in our development.”

Lamoriello, who won the Stanley Cup three times as GM of the New Jersey Devils, joined the Maple Leafs in 2015 at the start of the team’s rebuilding process.

Head coach Mike Babcock guided the team back to the post-season last spring, but Toronto fell to the Washington Capitals in the first round. The 2017-18 Maple Leafs made strides with a 105-point regular season but Toronto made an early exit once again, falling to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

Lamoriello spent 27 seasons as Devils GM before stepping down from that position in May 2015.

The Hockey Hall of Famer also served as GM of the American team that won the World Cup of Hockey in 1996. He returned to that post with USA Hockey for the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

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