ISLANDERS LET LAMBERT GO AND REEL IN ROY
2024-01-21 · 2 min read · NHL/Hockey
Ann Heisenfelt via Sporsnet | AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker
The New York Islanders have announced they are letting Lane Lambert go from behind the bench and bringing in NHL legend Patrick Roy as their new head coach. This comes after the Islanders went winless on a four game road trip and Lane Lambert lambasted his guys saying, "I don’t feel the team is anywhere near where it can be or should be. We have some players on the team that we clearly need more from.” Clearly The Islanders front office shared his frustration.
After sitting second in the Metropolitan Division a month ago, the club finds themselves sixth, two points out of the second wild-card spot in the East, with time to turn things around they decided a different voice was needed. Lambert was in his second season as New York coach. He went 61-46-20 in 127 regular season games and 2-4 in six playoff games. The 59-year-old replaced Barry Trotz as Islanders coach May 16, 2022, after serving as associate coach for four seasons. It was his first NHL head coaching job.
The man the Islanders reeled in to replace him Patrick Roy, is a Hockey Hall of Fame goalie, who coached the Colorado Avalanche for three seasons (2013-16) before resigning Aug. 11, 2016. The 58-year-old was 130-92-24 in 246 regular-season games and 3-4 in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. Of his new job Roy said, "I'm excited about this. I won't lie, I mean, yes, I have ideas and some changes that I'd love to make. But if you permit me, I will talk to the players before mentioning them to the reporters." After his resignation as the Avalanche head coach, which some viewed negatively or selfishly; Roy returned to the QMJHL serving as the general manager and coach of the Quebec Ramparts of the QMJHL. Roy was asked about this and had a very interesting response saying, "When I left Colorado, I thought the phone will ring faster, but it did not and understood that the way I left Colorado was probably not the best way to do things," Roy said. "But I'm proud of taking the time to go back to junior, working with those guys, learning, kind of resource myself in the game… So I'm very happy that I did this. And I'm very happy that I received this call."
Roy of course had a legendary NHL career after being picked in the third-round (No. 51) of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1984 NHL Draft, Roy's 551 wins in 19 seasons are third in NHL history behind Martin Brodeur (691) and Marc-Andre Fleury (552) and his 1,029 games are third behind Brodeur (1,266) and Roberto Luongo (1,044). His 151 wins and 247 games in the playoffs each rank first and his 23 shutouts are second to Brodeur (24). Now he has a new challenge as it's up to Roy, who won a Jack Adams Trophy with the Avalanche in 2013-14 as their bench boss; to fix what ails the inconsistent Isles.
Lambert is the fifth NHL coach to be fired this season, joining D.J. Smith (Ottawa Senators), Jay Woodcroft (Edmonton Oilers), Dean Evason (Minnesota Wild) and Craig Berube (St. Louis Blues). If you're wondering, the record for coaches fired in a NHL season is nine set back in 1981-82.
By: Chase Howard