BOSTON -- On the day the Toronto Maple Leafs unveiled their new logo to celebrate the organization's centennial season in 2016-17, the team played inspired hockey and erased a two-goal, third-period deficit en route to a 4-3 overtime win against the Boston Bruins.
The Maple Leafs remain in the basement of the Atlantic Division, and while the playoff picture is grim, team president Brendan Shanahan, general manager Lou Lamoriello and coach Mike Babcock have had a plan in place since the start of the season, and they're sticking to it no matter what.
ESPN.com spoke with Lamoriello about the team's progress and status leading up to the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
Joe McDonald: After the first few months of the season, what have you learned about the team?
Lou Lamoriello: You never stop learning, under any set of circumstances. We're still observing and that'll be a constant. There has been a plan and all of us are on board on what we're doing, and it's going to take some time.
McDonald: With the trade deadline approaching and so many pending unrestricted free agents on your roster, what's your plan before Feb. 29?
Lamoriello: I'll use the expression I've used for years: When time is on your side, you use it. We still have a period of time and no decisions are made, and it's obvious because nothing has happened. At the right time, whatever is going to be best for the Toronto Maple Leafs is going to be what the decision is.
McDonald: What have you thought of the job coach Mike Babcock has done in his first season with the Maple Leafs?
Lamoriello: He's the best coach in the game. He brings an enthusiasm each and every night to the game. He has a way of putting aside what just happened and get ready for what has to be done at this time.
McDonald: What have you thought of the organization's development with the prospects in the AHL?
Lamoriello: Well, there's no question I've been impressed. There are several players there that will be in the National Hockey League. I couldn't tell you when, some a lot sooner than others, but there's at least a half-dozen that will play, whether it's earlier or a little later, but they're going to play.
McDonald: How does that internal competition help get the most out of the players at the NHL level, knowing they're under a microscope?
Lamoriello: I don't know if it's internal competition. I think what [prospects] are going through [in the AHL] is they're learning what it's like to win. They're learning what it's like to be together as a group, and we've left them there all year long. It's a very stable group here [at the NHL level] that we've had, for obvious reasons, to find out who will be here in the future and who will not. And those are the decisions the players make for you, but you've got to give it time, especially when Mike and I are basically new and Brendan has been here only a year. So, you have to make sure whatever decisions you make, you make it with the right information and it's not over a short period of time, because time has a way of taking care of itself.
McDonald: You've been in this game for a long time and you've built successful programs, so what did you learn from your time with Providence College, the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Nets that can help you with this latest challenge in Toronto?
Lamoriello: I think they're all different situations. But the one fundamental principle that I believe in is: Don't come in with any preconceived notions. Listen and get as much information as you can. But make sure that you're around and make sure you observe yourself and allow situations to come forward because you have that opportunity, you have that time and you have to make sure whatever happened in the past -- whether it be good, bad or indifferent about what you've heard -- either resurfaces or doesn't surface; because sometimes when change takes place, people adjust a little differently. Each situation is different and what I try to do is not make decisions on hearsay.