The Toronto Maple Leafs will not bring back Lou Lamoriello as general manager for the 2018-19 season, the team announced Monday.
Lamoriello’s contract expired at the end of this season. He held the post since July 2015, when he was hired from the New Jersey Devils by Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan.
In a statement, Shanahan said Lamoriello, 75, would transition to a senior adviser role.
“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 Advisor for the following four years,” Shanahan said. “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.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lou for his tireless work over the last three years as general manager. 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.”
Under Lamoriello, the Maple Leafs made back-to-back playoff appearances the past two seasons, something they had not done since a six-season run from 1999 to 2004.
The Maple Leafs set franchise records for points (105) and wins (49) in the regular season, Auston Matthews found his scoring touch amid injury woes, and goalie Frederik Andersen set a franchise record for wins in a season with 38. But they were eliminated in seven games by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs last week. Coach Mike Babcock, Shanahan and the rest of the team expected more this year after getting back to the postseason a year ago.
Among the issues for the new GM: Veteran forwards James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov are among the players set to hit unrestricted free agency, and Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander are due big raises in the not-too-distant future.
Lamoriello was the Devils’ general manager from 1987 to 2015, and his teams won the Stanley Cup three times. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.