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Mogilny adds to list of Lamoriello slips // Star-Ledger Staff
BY RICH CHERE
For an entire decade now, Devils boss Lou Lamoriello has been regarded by most of the hockey world as the NHL's best general manager. He has won three Stanley Cups without spending recklessly on free agents.
But Lamoriello's reputation took another hit yesterday when his decision to place veteran winger Alexander Mogilny on waivers confirmed that the GM is still paying the price for his worst off-season since coming to the Devils in 1987. Last summer Lamoriello signed three expensive free agents, including defensemen Vladimir Malakhov and Dan McGillis, and hired Larry Robinson as the club's new head coach.
With the departure of Mogilny, all of them are gone only three months into the season.
"This falls on me. No one else. I take that responsibility," Lamoriello said after leading the Devils through practice at Codey Arena in West Orange.
Lamoriello's toughest decision was to place Mogilny on waivers. Signed because the Devils knew they would be without top scorer Patrik Elias at the start of this season, Mogilny battled a sore hip and had clearly lost a step. Nevertheless, he was the Devils' third-leading scorer with 12 goals and 25 points in 34 games.
Mogilny's $3.6 million salary will come off the Devils' salary cap figure regardless of whether he is claimed by another team. If he clears waivers today, he can be assigned to the minors.
"Whenever you have a veteran of his stature with all that he has accomplished and you feel he is going to be playing a very limited role as far as ice time, it's a very difficult thing," Lamoriello said. "The best decision is to make a decision and put the responsibility on some younger players."
Lamoriello would not elaborate on why he was unhappy with Mogilny, who was unavailable for comment.
"There are certain things I prefer not to get into," the GM said. "It has nothing to do with him as a person."
A GM who used to have the magic touch, Lamoriello is in a slump worse than his sub-.500 team. Consider his summer scorecard:
# Talked free-agent defenseman Vladimir Malakhov out of retirement with a two-year, $7.2 million deal. Malakhov walked out on the team after playing 29 games with a minus-9 rating. Although his agent, Paul Theofanous, claims he was looking for a leave of absence, Malakhov did Lamoriello a huge favor by telling Lamoriello he was retiring and thereby forfeiting some remaining $5.8 million in salary.
# Gave free-agent defenseman Dan McGillis a two-year contract worth $4.4 million. McGillis struggled this season, going minus-5 in 27 games, and was placed on waivers. He is now playing for Albany (AHL).
# Brought Mogilny back for his second stint with the Devils at a cost of $7 million for two years. Although the 36-year-old Russian had undergone two serious hip operations and even publicly talked about retirement, Lamoriello gave him a lucrative two-year deal.
# Named Larry Robinson as head coach when it became evident that Pat Burns was not physically well enough to come back. It was not definite that Burns, whose contract had run out, would have been back even if he hadn't been battling cancer. Virtually everyone thought Robinson was a good choice, but a losing team prompted him to resign on Dec. 19 for health reasons.
# Was unable to re-sign free-agent defenseman Scott Niedermayer, who left the Devils to sign with the Mighty Ducks on Aug. 4.
# Attempted to bring Bobby Holik back, but couldn't offer the free-agent center enough money. Holik signed with the Thrashers.
"With reference to what we went through losing two quality defensemen (Niedermayer and Scott Stevens), we tried to react or proact to the next best potential," Lamoriello explained. "We knew there might've been a risk. With Patrik Elias' status we also knew there was a void. We tried to fill that void to the best of our ability at that time. Here we are halfway through the season and it did not work out.
"We knew what the high side was and what the low side was. Those are the decisions you make and sometimes they don't work."
Once seemingly unable to make a trade to help the team, Lamoriello has cleared enough room under the cap to go shopping again.
3 ноября. Александр Могильный: "Мой приезд в Турин не исключен" - "Спорт-Экспресс"
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24 сентября. Devs` Mogilny takin' his time- New York Post
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