Islanders name Lane Lambert head coach

·2 min read
Lane Lambert coaching pointing with Alex Ovechkin Capitals
Lane Lambert coaching pointing with Alex Ovechkin Capitals

The Islanders have named Lane Lambert their new head coach, replacing Barry Trotz.

Lambert had served as the associate coach of the Islanders for the past four seasons under Trotz, who was relieved of his duties last week. In that time, the Islanders made the playoffs three of those four years, missing this season's playoffs.

"I had the opportunity to work with Lane over the past four years, which includes spending time with him on a one-on-one basis when he served as the interim head coach this past season," Islanders president and GM Lou Lamoriello said. "In my opinion, he is the right person to coach this team."

Prior to his time with the Islanders, Lambert spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals, also under Trotz. During that time, the Capitals won their first Stanley Cup Championship.

The Melfort, Saskatchewan native also spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators from 2011-14.

Following the firing of Trotz, Lamoriello said that the team needed a "new voice" and while bringing in the outgoing coach's assistant to main the club may not seem like that change, the GM gave his reason for the promotion.

"Maybe it wasn't the right phrase I should've used, but it's the right position that Lane is in and it's a big new voice," Lamoriello said in a Zoom news conference Monday. "These are two totally different personalities between Barry and Lane.

“There’s a tremendous difference between an assistant coach and a head coach. It’s bigger than I think anyone can sometimes understand.”

Lamoriello pointed to the three games Lambert coached the team in January when Trotz was unavailable due to personal and COVID-related reasons. He was impressed by how Lambert handled the situation and was at the top of his list of potential new coaches.

"I envision us taking the summer to evaluate what we have and moving forward from there and giving our team the best opportunity to win," Lambert said of the upcoming offseason. "The one thing that will never change is that our identity is of a team that will be hard to play against."

Before picking up the clipboard, Lambert was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He amassed 124 points (58 goals, 66 assists) in 283 career NHL games with the Red Wings, Rangers and Quebec Nordiques from 1983-89.