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Lane Lambert fired, Patrick Roy named HC

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NHL Legend Patrick Roy Named Islanders HC After Lane Lambert Firing



QUEBEC CITY, QC - OCTOBER 27:  Patrick Roy, head coach of the Quebec Remparts, looks on during his team QMJHL hockey game against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at the Videotron Center on October 27, 2021 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images)
Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

It's a new era on Long Island.


The New York Islanders announced Saturday that head coach Lane Lambert had been "relieved of his coaching responsibilities" and that the franchise had named Hall of Famer Patrick Roy as the new head coach.


The Islanders are currently 19-15-11 and sit in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. Lambert was in his second season as the team's head coach and finished with an overall record of 61-46-20.


This article will be updated soon to provide more information and analysis.

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Surprised by this. Lambert was considered THE top hot young coaching prospect, Lou used him for a few minutes, tarnished his rep, let Trotz go and now has...... Roy. You know, the guy who literally quite on Colorado leaving them in a lurch as the season was starting.


  They were made for each other. Not a compliment. 

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Roy grateful to be back in NHL as Islanders coach

Says he’s evolved since resigning from Avalanche in 2016


© Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

ByNicholas J. Cotsonika
@cotsonika NHL.com Columnist

Patrick Roy wanted another shot to coach in the NHL after abruptly resigning from the Colorado Avalanche on Aug. 11, 2016.


He got it when the New York Islanders hired him to replace Lane Lambert on Saturday.




“It means a lot,” Roy said. “When I left Colorado, I thought the phone would ring faster. But it did not, and I understood that the way I left Colorado was probably not the best way to do things.”


Roy said he learned from his experience with the Avalanche and has evolved over the past 7 1/2 years. That will be key to his impact on the Islanders, starting with his debut against the Dallas Stars at home Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSGSN, BSSW).


General manager Lou Lamoriello made it clear he thinks Roy can take this team to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Islanders have lost six of their past seven games (1-5-1) but entered Saturday two points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference.


“In my opinion, that is exactly what this is for,” Lamoriello said. “And now we have to put it on the players, because I know what Patrick will bring to them. Now it’s what the players will bring to us.”


Roy was one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, arguably the greatest. We all know his Hockey Hall of Fame resume.


He was an instant success as coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, leading them to the Memorial Cup in 2005-06.


Then, after eight seasons in junior, he was an instant success again in Colorado in 2013-14. The Avalanche went 52-22-8, won the Central Division and took the Minnesota Wild to seven games in the Western Conference First Round. He won the Jack Adams Award, voted NHL coach of the year.


But some felt his record was deceiving, because the Avalanche had poor possession and great goaltending. Then they went 39-31-12 and missed the playoffs in 2014-15, and then they went 39-39-4 and missed the playoffs again in 2015-16. The downward trend in points: 112 to 90 to 82.


When Roy resigned, it was a little more than a month before training camp for the 2016-17 season, putting the Avalanche in a difficult position. Joe Sakic was general manager, but Roy was vice president of hockey operations.


He released a statement saying his vision needed to be “perfectly aligned with that of the organization” and he wanted “a say in the decisions that impact the team’s performance.” He said those conditions weren’t met.


Perhaps that had something to do with why the phone didn’t ring.


After two seasons out of coaching, Roy returned to the Remparts for five seasons. He led them to the Memorial Cup again last season.


Two important questions:


One, is Roy a different coach now than he was when he left Colorado?


“Day and night,” Roy said. “… I learned to respect even more today the work of the coaching -- coming to the rink early, working hard to help the players with ideas -- and I really want to establish a bit what we did in Colorado, which was a partnership with the players. We want the players to buy into what we’ll do as a coaching staff and help them to achieve their goals.”


Patrick Roy hired as the new Islanders coach


Two, will Roy have a role in management? 


“Zero interest in management,” Roy said. “And that’s the first thing I told Lou. Even at the end of my days in Colorado, Joe was our GM, and he was making most of the decisions. Yeah, he would come downstairs and ask my opinion on things, but I had zero interest in management [in New York].


“And I would say this to you: When I took the job in Colorado, I think I was a bit of a dreamer and thinking that I could do both. I think have plenty on my plate. Just worry about my relationship with the players and the media, and try to use the media as a bridge between us and our fans.


“Our fan base is extremely important, and I want our fans to come to our games and be excited for all this. I want our fans to walk in the street wearing that jersey and be so proud of that team, and that’s my objective.”


If you’re an Islanders fan, how can you not be excited about that?


“I’m proud of taking the time to go back to junior, working with those guys [and] making sure that I stay on top of that different culture, because the player of today is different than what it was in my times,” said the 58-year-old, who retired as a player in 2003.


“It changed, and you have to adjust to the younger guys. I’m very happy that I did this, and I’m very happy that I received this call.


“I wasn’t unhappy on the golf course. I won’t lie. But I would say this to you: It was a very welcome call.”

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