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Lamoriello adds former Devils VP Pellegrini to Islanders front office

June 13, 2018 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Former Devils defenseman Scott Stevens (left) may be one of the candidates Lou Lamoriello is considering for the Islanders’ vacant head coaching position. AP Photo by Frank Franklin II
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Lou Lamoriello is getting the band back together.

The Islanders’ team president and general manager announced Tuesday that former Devils Vice President of Operations Steve Pellegrini would join New York’s front office as an assistant general manager, splitting duties with Lamoriello’s son, Chris.

Chris Lamoriello and Pellegrini both worked under the Hall of Fame executive during his dynastic tenure in N.J, which resulted in five Stanley Cup Finals appearances and three NHL titles.

The senior Lamoriello initially hired Pellegrini in 2006, putting him in charge of the franchise’s “hockey-related matters, including and not limited to, contract negotiation/salary arbitration preparation, collective bargaining agreement/salary cap compliance, scheduling and scouting,”

Prior to joining the Devils, Pellegrini spent eight seasons as Group Vice President of the NHL’s Central Registry Department, serving on the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiating committee.  

He also served as the director of hockey administration for the Edmonton Oilers from 1995-98 after beginning his NHL career working in the league’s Community Relations Department in 1991.  

“Steve brings over 20 years of knowledge and experience to our hockey operations,” Lamoriello said in a team-issued statement.  

Chris, who was already in place with the Brooklyn-based Islanders since 2016 as an assistant to former GM Garth Snow, worked for his father for two decades before the Devils’ team architect moved on to a successful three-year stint in Toronto.

Pellegrini is part of the revamp and rebuild Lamoriello has been orchestrating since taking over the Isles’ hockey operations on May 22, shortly after his tenure with the Maple Leafs ended.

He has since replaced Snow as general manager and fired second-year head coach Doug Weight, though both remain within the organization in yet-to-be-defined roles due mainly to contractual obligations.

With team captain and unrestricted free-agent-to-be John Tavares ready to entertain offers from other teams toward the end of the month and able to sign with another club come July 1, Lamoriello is busy putting together the front-office pieces that will help reshape a franchise that has lacked relevance on the tri-state area pro sports scene for a couple of decades now.

The newly reformed trio will also be prepping for the June 22-23 NHL Draft.

The Isles will have back-to-back (11th and 12th overall picks) in the opening round as they try to shore up a defense that was among the league’s worst last season, allowing NHL highs of 3.57 goals per game and 35.6 shots against per contest.

Lamoriello is still looking for a new head coach, as well.

Former Devils defenseman Scott Stevens’ name has been mentioned in the ongoing rumor cycle regarding the team’s next on-ice leader. But an even more intriguing option would be Stanley Cup-winning Washington head coach Barry Trotz, whose contract is up with the newly crowned Capitals.

Despite the whirlwind of activity in the front office, Lamoriello remains steadfast in his belief that a steady, patient approach is the only way to handle these matters.

“Not every coach is for every team and not every team is for every coach,” he noted during last week’s teleconference following the firings of Snow and Weight.

“We’ll have to just wait and see.”

Isle Have Another: Back from last month’s trip to Denmark for the IIHF World Championships, Isles forwards Anthony Beauvillier, Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle revealed how much they enjoyed taking their line chemistry overseas. “I think those guys are obviously great young players and I like playing with them,” Eberle said of his fellow New York linemates. “You look at the way we finished the season and how well we played together, it wasn’t really a surprise that we played on a line together [for Team Canada].” The trio was joined by fellow Isles regulars Josh Bailey and Ryan Pulock on the Canadian squad, but all five were denied a shot at scoring a medal when teammate Anders Lee’s USA squad beat them, 4-1, on May 20 in the bronze medal game. “It was the first time I had ever had that opportunity and it’s definitely special to represent your country,” said Bailey, who had four points in nine games during the tournament. “I grew up watching lots of Hockey Canada stuff and as my career started, kept watching and always hoped that one day I’d get a chance. That was definitely a big honor and a lot of pride goes into being able to represent your country.”




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