Islanders owner Jon Ledecky reaffirms faith in Lou Lamoriello


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Islanders owner Jon Ledecky has not wavered in his support of Lou Lamoriello. Not one bit.

“We have it written on top of the owner’s club: In Lou we trust,” Ledecky said before the Islanders’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Stars. “That’s what you do. You have to support your folks 1,000 percent. You cannot waver. There’s a plan in place. He has to execute the plan.”

Lamoriello took over hockey operations for the Islanders ahead of the 2018-19 season and has had more or less absolute power over the team since then. The Hall of Fame executive turned 80 years old in October, and has shown little sign of slowing down.

Ledecky, on hand to honor the 1 millionth fan to attend a game at UBS Arena, batted away a question about Lamoriello’s contract, which is currently in its fifth season.

“We don’t talk hockey, that’s not my job,” Ledecky said. “My job is to make sure this building works and that the fans have the greatest experience.

Jon Ledecky
Corey Sipkin

“The owner who becomes the GM or the owner who thinks he’s a GM has a fool for a client. We hand that over to Lou and let Lou do his job and that’s what he’s trying to do. Every day we’re trying to go out and win a game.”

Lamoriello has come under some criticism by the fan base after a disappointing 2021-22 season led into a summer in which the only major transaction was to trade for defenseman Alexander Romanov. The Islanders entered Tuesday’s match at 22-17-2, tied on points with the Penguins in the standings for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

“Every team has ups and downs, every team is managing through injuries,” Ledecky said. “It’s part of the game. I just like their resilience and the tenacity of the team. I like the fact that we can call folks up from [AHL] Bridgeport and they’re playing right away in the system and they’re ready to go. We’ve had some great, I think, pleasant surprises with those folks fitting right in and playing well.”

UBS Arena, which opened in November 2021, has been a success story for a franchise that long struggled to find a replacement for Nassau Coliseum. Ledecky was excited to greet the millionth fan, Jennifer Belechto, whose family from Islip was attending its first game at the building.

Lou Lamoriello
Lou Lamoriello
NHLI via Getty Images

As for the team on the ice, making the playoffs again is considered the bare minimum for success after a disappointing miss last season. Ledecky, though, won’t partake in any judgment on his general manager one way or the other.

“The bar is that Lou is in the Hall of Fame, Lou won the GM of the Year twice, I’m neither,” Ledecky said. “And neither is [co-owner] Scott [Malkin]. When you have somebody who’s got that track record, you let them do their job.”

Simon Holmstrom (knee) returned to the lineup after missing six games and played 12:55. Mathew Barzal (lower-body) played almost 22 minutes after being sidelined in Calgary with what coach Lane Lambert called a “tweak.”

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