Maple Leafs hire ex-Islanders head coach Lane Lambert to associate role

Lane Lambert Islanders
Lane Lambert. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Former New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert has been hired as an associate coach by the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced Wednesday. 

The 59-year-old coached 127 games with the Islanders from 2022-2024. He was fired midway through the 2023-24 campaign on Jan. 20 after New York went 19-15-11 through 46 games. Patrick Roy was brought in as head coach and helped the Islanders sneak into the playoffs where they were eliminated in the first round by the Carolina Hurricanes.

It is a fate Lambert knew all too well. He led the Islanders to the playoffs on the final day of the regular season last season where they ultimately fell in the first round to the very same Hurricanes. 

He spent the previous four seasons as the Islanders’ assistant coach under Barry Trotz — the long-time head coach whom he had worked with for the better part of the previous decade. Lambert was an assistant under Trotz with the Nashville Predators from 2011-2014 and followed him to the Washington Capitals from 2014-2018 where the two won a Stanley Cup in their final season before joining the Islanders.

Lambert will work under Craig Berube in Toronto, who replaced Sheldon Keefe following his firing on May 9. 

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