Former New York Islander Ray Ferraro is always an insightful analyst, bringing a former ‘80s-’90s player’s perspective to the table with some modern awareness and knowledge of how the game actually works.
Regarding the Islanders, he’s also been blunt but fair over the years: Never shy to criticize them, but doing so in fact-based ways rather than joining the largely uninformed national media parade that tosses every precious Islander baby out with the dirty laughingstock water.
Returning from the World Championship in Denmark, he was asked on his Pulp Hockey podcast about the Islanders’ hiring of Lou Lamoriello, and later, about its impact on the John Tavares free agency decision.
First, on Lamoriello’s hiring:
“Even at 74, he’s healthy enough, he’s energetic enough, he still wants to be the big banana.
”The Islanders have been an absolute mess forever, and I think one of the things that Lou does as well as anybody is it takes him two seconds to change the culture. Because with Lou there’s only two colors in the palette and that’s white and black. That’s it, there’s no gray. There’s nothing else.
“[With Lou it’s] ‘This is how we do things, this is how we will do things. Oh you do it that way? We don’t.’ That’s the way Lou operates, and I think the Islanders need a lot of that. So I wasn’t surprised. I’m happy for my old team that Lou’s gonna be there, because I think he’ll really help.”
As for the prevailing — not sure it’s even a theory, maybe more of the next trope in the narrative — that Lamoriello’s presence is the key to convincing Tavares to re-sign?
“Yeah I don’t think that matters at all.”
Insert arena joke:
“Unless Lou’s got a shovel, and he’s going to start digging the arena out quicker.”
While that was a quick quip about the Belmont development — which is on track, we should note — it’s more consistent with Ferraro on how players think: i.e., thinking about tomorrow, fully aware that coaches and executives come and go.
(h/t LHH regular LittleCharlieHusher, who also added more on how Ferraro typically views player free agency decisions)