The New York Islanders fired coach Lane Lambert and replaced him with Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy on Saturday, a stunning midseason change behind the bench for the disappointing former Eastern Conference playoff contenders.
President of hockey operations and general manager Lou Lamoriello announced the move to dismiss Lambert and bring in Roy, who hasn’t coached in the NHL in nearly a decade. Roy has been mentioned in consideration for several vacancies since.
The Islanders have lost four games in a row and six of seven to fall out of a playoff spot.
Lambert was midway through his second season on the job. Roy coached the Colorado Avalanche for three seasons from 2013-16 before abruptly resigning a month before training camp.
Roy, a four-time Stanley Cup champion who is third on the career NHL wins list among goalies, won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 2013-14 after guiding the Avalanche to the playoffs in Nathan MacKinnon’s rookie season. The 58-year-old has spent the past five seasons coaching and serving as GM for the junior Quebec Remparts.
Lambert, former Islanders coach Barry Trotz’s longtime right-hand man, got his first NHL head job when he was promoted from assistant in the summer of 2012. He was on Trotz’s staff when they won the Cup with Washington in 2018.
Lambert is the fifth coach fired in the league this season after Edmonton’s Jay Woodcroft, Minnesota’s Dean Evason, St. Louis’ Craig Berube and Ottawa’s D.J. Smith.