The New York Islanders announced on Monday morning that they have promoted Lane Lambert to the role of head coach.
Islanders name Lane Lambert 18th head coach in franchise history after shock firing of Barry Trotz
The move comes one week after the shocking firing of Barry Trotz, who led New York for four seasons with Lambert as his associate head coach.
“There’s never a good time for anything but once the decision was made to make a coaching change, then the total focus was on who would be the best individual to lead this team to where I thought we can get and should get,” Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “Certainly, no one had any knowledge of a change being made and Lane without question was on top of that list from my experience with him over the past four years.”
Upon dismissing Trotz, Lamoriello cited the team’s need for a “new voice” as the reason why the team was making the change. At the surface, it doesn’t appear as though Lambert would bring much of a different philosophy compared to the former head coach. He had gone wherever Trotz had, working as an assistant coach under him with the Nashville Predators from 2011-2014 and the Washington Capitals from 2014-2018.
“Maybe it wasn’t the right phrase I should’ve used [a new voice] but it’s the right position that Lane is in and it’s a big new voice,” Lamoriello said. “These are two totally different personalities between Barry and Lane.”
When Trotz was sidelined back in January due to COVID and the death of his mother, Lambert stepped in as interim head coach.
“Working with him for over two weeks when he was head coach… It was something I kept behind my mind,” Lamoriello continued. “In the way that Lane operated, the different things he did during that period of time, I prefaced when he became that interim coach… to coach as if he was coaching from the Day 1 of the season.
“I was extremely impressed with how he handled each and every situation.”
This will be Lambert’s first permanent head-coaching position in the NHL. He served in such a role with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League from 2007-2011 and the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League from 2003-2005.
The 57-year-old also spent one season as an assistant coach for the Islanders’ AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
“It’s a good day,” Lambert said. “This is something that I have been preparing for for a long time throughout many years in the game and many years as a coach. There’s a level of excitement for sure from a family standpoint and everything like that.”