The mission for Lou Lamoriello is simple: Return the Islanders to the Stanley Cup-winning powerhouse they once were.
Fulfilling that objective is going to take some time. But it was the challenge, the inevitable journey that enticed Lamoriello to leave his post with the Maple Leafs as a senior advisor, and join the Islanders as their new president of hockey operations.
"First of all, I was impressed with the conversation I had with [co-owner] Scott Malkin and his vision, his commitment, and his support to the Islanders," Lamoriello said in his first conference call with the media since the hiring. "I also look at it as a challenge to bring the Islanders back to where they were."
The first step to achieve that goal starts with his own evaluation of the team's "ins and outs." Lamoriello didn't comment directly on what Garth Snow's role within the Islanders is, but he noted that he will be looking at what the entire personnel group within the organization has to offer without any "preconceived notions."
"As I've done in the past in a situation like this, I take a step back and see exactly what the people who you have in place have to offer, what their thoughts are, what their vision is and then make a decision as I go along," Lamoriello said.
Lamoriello added: "Whenever there's a change, usually a couple people get better or a couple people get worse. You always hope the most talented ones get better. So, we'll have to evaluate everything in, quite frankly, a short period of time but not at a rushed pace."
Lamoriello's ways of operating have been the same since he joined the Devils in 1987. His standards of what the front office as well as the team should look like have resulted in three Stanley Cup championships with New Jersey as well as earning a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Even his transition to the Maple Leafs went well as the team reached the playoffs for the past two seasons.
In short, his style of running a team works and he isn't going to change his ways. And that includes speaking about specific player's contract like, say, captain John Tavares.
It was reported on Monday that Lamoriello has already had conversations with Tavares. But he let the media know now, and at any time in the future, he will not discuss personal things like Tavares' contract down the road.
"When it comes to talking to players, whether it be contract, personally...I will never comment about it," Lamoriello stated. "I've never done it in the past."
Lamoriello did, however, speak on his thought of Tavares, and how they emulate the rest of what the NHL world thinks about the 27-year-old center.
"Everyone in the National Hockey League knows about John Tavares. He's one of the elite players," he said. "A gentleman both on and off the ice and just a quality individual as well as a quality player. I don't know any better way of describing him."
Between sorting out the personnel within the Islanders' organization and trying to keep Tavares in the blue and orange next season, Lamoriello has a lot on his plate at the young age of 75.
Don't let his age fool you. The front-office veteran wouldn't be in his current position if he wasn't up for the task.
"If I didn't have it, I wouldn't be here today," Lamoriello said on his drive to remain in the NHL. "First of all, you have to look in the mirror and feel good about what you're doing. If I didn't feel good, I wouldn't be on this conference call today."