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Lou Lamoriello sends a warning to fans of the Maple Leafs.

A poignant warning for the general manager.

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The Maple Leafs and their fan base have a lot to be optimistic about right now, their young stars have demonstrated some serious potential, they have multiple draft picks in each of the first four rounds of the upcoming National Hockey League Entry Draft, and their front office has towed the line, committing fully to the rebuild.

With all of that said, the Leafs veteran general manager, Lou Lamoriello, had a warning for fans of the team, and with that warning he made it clear that there was still more pain to come before things got better.

“I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” Lamoriello said as per Jonas Siegel of The Globe and Mail.

“All I can say is that everything has transpired throughout the year, no matter what it might be, has pointed in a positive direction. For any step that was taken back, two or three was going forward and that’s the way you look at it. We still have a ways to go. We can’t get excited about success we’ve had recently because all of these things have a way of changing when the pressure starts.

“Right now, we’re still in that early stage,” Lamoriello added. “To use the expression that Mike did — ‘there will be pain’ — there will be more pain, but it is in the right direction.”

It's a very good point from Lamoriello, the Leafs are currently playing with absolutely zero expectations on them, once the pressure of winning returns the players on the roster could have it impact their game, both positively and negatively. It's clear that this still isn't about the now for Lamoriello, he continues to view this as a long-term project.

“We will do whatever is the right thing to make this team, to make this organization, a team for today and tomorrow, depending upon what is available.”