The 18th in our 118-part series.
It really almost doesn’t need to be said, does it? Anyone who is a fan of the current incarnation of the Devils is, by definition, a fan of Lou’s. Sure, he drives us crazy with his secrecy, his disdain for accessibility, his loathing of individuality. But Lou is a man who has a vision, a fully-realized idea of how to run a hockey team from top to bottom, and damn if it doesn’t work. His resume really speaks for itself, with his building the sports program at Providence College, inventing Hockey East, and then turning the Devils from a Mickey-Mouse sadsack into a dynasty. He’s toed a hard financial line, and the fans have watched a lot of players move on from the organization with ill will, but in the end it always came down to winning for Lou. And the Devils, as players come and go, keep winning. But what we’ve liked best about the choices Lou’s made over our years as fans is that he almost always picks character over pure talent. He drafts, trades for and signs guys who have what it takes not just to play hockey well, but what it takes to play Devils hockey well. He puts a premium on smarts. And as we mentioned in yesterday’s Reason, the reward for the careful selection of good character guys is a unique loyalty within the organization. This is a testament to Lou.