The New York Islanders have fired head coach Lane Lambert after one-plus season with the organization and have brought in Patrick Roy as his replacement, the team announced Saturday.
Lambert was shown the door after the Islanders lost each of their four games on their most recent road trip, which concluded on Friday night with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the worst teams in hockey without their superstar rookie, Connor Bedard.
“I felt that the inconsistency that has been going on for some period of time was not going to end,” team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “When I had the opportunity to meet with Patrick, recently, I felt that this was the best for our organization going to go forward.”
No other changes to the Islanders coaching staff are expected at this time.
Lambert had been a long-time assistant of former Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, working on his staff with the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals before arriving in New York ahead of the 2018-19 season. Upon Trotz’s surprising departure after four years, which included two Stanley Cup semifinal appearances, Lambert was promoted to head coach for the 2022-23 campaign.
Over his two years at the helm, he went 61-46-20. After clawing their way into a wild-card spot and first-round exit last season, the Islanders are 19-15-11 and currently sit in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division after a miserable start to the month of January. They are 2-5-2 in their nine games of the calendar year.
“This is always a tough decision,” Lamoriello said. “I have tremendous respect for Lane. But right now, we have to get right back on track.”
In hopes of righting the ship with a core that remains very much unchanged from those two semifinalists in 2020 and 2021, team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello has brought in Roy, who last season won the Memorial Cup in the QMJHL with the Quebec Ramparts.
He spent a total of 13 seasons with the junior cub across two stints. In between, he spent three seasons as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-2016 where he accrued a 130-92-24 record which included winning the Jack Adams Award in 2014 as the NHL Coach of the Year.
Roy implored that he has no desire to pursue a management role with the Islanders. Along with head-coaching duties while with the Avalanche, he was also vice president of hockey operations.
“Zero interest in management,” Roy said. “That’s the first thing I told Lou.”
Known for his intensity behind the bench, the 58-year-old will be tasked with providing the necessary spark to revitalize a group that has grown stale in recent weeks and get their playoff hopes back on track.
“My objective is to bring some consistency to the play and help these guys in their games,” Roy said. “I won’t lie, I have some ideas and some changes I would love to make, but if you permit me, I will talk to the players before I mention them to the reporters.”