The shoe dropped. The replacement is...interesting.
The New York Islanders have fired head coach Lane Lambert and replaced him with Patrick Roy, the Hall of Fame former goaltender who previously coached the Colorado Avalanche and left that team abruptly before the start of the 2016-17 season. He did win a Jack Adams Award with the team as coach of the year in the NHL.
From the official team release noting Lambert is “relieved of coaching duties”...:
Last season, Roy served as the Head Coach of the Quebec Remparts and won the Memorial Cup Championship and the QMJHL Championship. He had two stints as Head Coach of the Remparts, 2005-06 through 2012-13 and 2018-19 through 2022-23. He also won the Memorial Cup in his first season as Head Coach of Quebec (2005-06). Over the course of 13 seasons with the Remparts, Roy accumulated a Head Coaching record of 524-255-66.
Roy was the Head Coach of the Colorado Avalanche for three seasons (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16). He finished with a record of 130-92-24 and won the Jack Adams Award in 2013-14 as NHL Coach of the Year.
Well, this should be different.
Thus concludes a strange and brief coaching tenure in Islanders history. GM Lou Lamoriello shocked many in 2022 when he fired Barry Trotz — who led them to two conference finals — and replaced him with longtime assistant Lambert, citing how impressed he was when Lambert took over for a few games mid-season while Trotz was out on bereavement leave.
For whatever reason, the team never seemed to click with Lambert, opening up on offense but suffering on defense — admittedly, a tradeoff Lamoriello seemed to want when he made that change. This season was beset by blown third-period leads, jarringly inconsistent performances, and multiple stretches of losses that brought the fanbase to a #firelambert fever pitch.
On Saturday, after an 0-3-1 road trip, their cries were answered.