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Lou Lamoriello, ‘The Goalie Whisperer’

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Can the new team president wrangle in another netminder?

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2013 NHL Draft
“Hello? Yes I’d like to order a goalie.”

[Ed. note: Please welcome Noel Fogelman to Lighthouse Hockey! You may know him from the IslesBuzz podcast, on Twitter (thefirstnoel19) or other hockey venues. You’ll be seeing his byline around here and we’re thrilled to have him join our Isles group therapy.]

Lou Lamoriello’s resume speaks for itself. Playoff mainstays, three-time Stanley Cup winner, heck, he even has a World Series ring with the 2009 New York Yankees. The success just mentioned can be contributed to his ability in finding goalies. That trait didn’t help the Yankees win, but perhaps he can find a starting pitcher for them now.

It’s been quite some time since the Islanders have had a franchise goalie. Been so long that Lou was still at Providence. The team currently has three goaltenders (Thomas Greiss, Eamon McAdam, and Linus Soderstrom) under contract for the 2018-19 season. Greiss is not a number one goaltender, McAdam struggled to stay in the AHL, and Soderstrom, who spent much of last season rehabbing from injury, will likely begin his North American professional career with Bridgeport.

Lamoriello set up the New Jersey Devils for 20 seasons when he selected Marty Brodeur 20th overall in the 1990 NHL Draft. Brodeur would help the Devils win three Stanley Cups in his 21 seasons. Brodeur was 41 when Lamoriello traded the ninth overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft to the Canucks (who picked Bo Horvat) for goalie Cory Schneider, who backed up former Islander Roberto Luongo for three seasons. The Isles were said to be interested in acquiring Schneider at the Draft. Schneider took the torch from Brodeur and has battled for the Devils.

Lamoriello saw a challenge in rebuilding the Maple Leafs. He had to wait a year before acquiring his number-one goalie. Frederik Andersen was acquired from the Ducks. (The Islanders could have had Andersen years ago, but opted to draft third-string college goaltender Cody Rosen in 2010).

The price at the time seemed steep, a first and second round pick. The Hall of Fame executive explained the move when made.

Turns out that Lamoriello stole Andersen from the Ducks. The Dane has established himself as one of the league’s top goalies in his time with Toronto. His 71 wins in two seasons with the Leafs ranks sixth in the league.

What Schneider and Andersen had in common when acquired by Lamoriello was each of them were part of a tandem in the last season with their respective teams.

Could Lou look to Washington for his number one? Phillip Grubauer played a career-high 35 games this season and started the first two games of the postseason. The German netminder is a restricted free agent and could be expendable with top prospect Ilya Samsonov now signed. The Islanders have four of the top 42 picks in next month’s draft.

Gosh I hope this thing still works