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Lane Lambert Named Islanders Head Coach; Was Assistant Under Barry Trotz

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 16, 2022

ELMONT, NEW YORK - JANUARY 01:  Interim head coach Lane Lambert of the New York Islanders looks on against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at UBS Arena on January 01, 2022 in Elmont, New York. Head coach Barry Trotz is not on the bench today due to personal reasons. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The New York Islanders announced they have hired Lane Lambert as their next head coach.

Lambert served as the Islanders' associate coach from 2018-2022 under Barry Trotz, who was fired on May 9.

Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello provided comments in a team statement.

"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," Lamoriello said. "In my opinion, he is the right person to coach this team."

The 57-year-old played 18 years of professional hockey from 1983-2001, including seven NHL campaigns with the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques.

He also served as an assistant under Trotz with the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals.

Lambert served as an assistant on the Capitals' 2018 Stanley Cup-winning team, which came at the conclusion of his 2014-18 tenure with the team. He worked as a Nashville Predators assistant from 2011-2013.

Between his playing career and NHL coaching career, Lambert was the head coach of the Western Hockey League's Prince George Cougars (2003-05) and an assistant for the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2005-06).

He then moved to the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals, working as an assistant (2006-07) and then a head coach (2007-2011), winning a pair of Western Division titles.

Now he'll get his first crack at being an NHL head coach.

The Islanders made the playoffs for three straight seasons under Trotz and were one win away from qualifying for the Stanley Cup Final last year. This season was a disappointment in comparison, as the Islanders finished 37-35-10—16 points short of the playoffs.

The Isles certainly have the talent to bounce back. The question now is whether Lambert can help steer the team back to the postseason. He has a track record of success as a coach, and 18 years as a professional hockey player certainly provide some good perspective. The Eastern Conference is a brutally tough league, but Lambert could very well be up to the task.