Islanders hire Patrick Roy as coach after firing Lane Lambert: Why New York made a change

The New York Islanders fired head coach Len Lambert, president of hockey operations and general manager Lou Lamoriello on Saturday, the team announced.

Patrick Roy, a four-time Stanley Cup champion and Hall of Fame goaltender, will be the Islanders' new head coach, the team announced.

The Islanders' season is on the decline after a promising, if inconsistent, start — Friday's 4-3 overtime loss to the 31st-ranked Chicago Blackhawks was the last straw for Lamoriello, whose team is 2-6-2 in its last 10 games. Lambert's group was plagued by injuries but the Islanders still managed a 12-4-4 record to put themselves in a good playoff position. The current bracket has the Isles sitting in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division and 11th in the East, but still two points away from a playoff spot. Lamoriello feels the season can be salvaged.

Roy has been longing to return to the NHL bench ever since he left the Colorado Avalanche after the 2015-16 season, having been coach and general manager of the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL for the past five seasons. He had two coaching stints with the Remparts from 2005 to 2013 and from 2018 to 2023. During the 2022-23 season, he coached the Remparts to the club's third Memorial Cup title. Roy stepped down as coach and general manager of the Remparts following their Memorial Cup win.

From 2013 to 2016 he coached the Avalanche. During his tenure, he posted a 130-92-24 record, making the playoffs once (2013-14). Roy stepped down on August 11, 2016, before being replaced by current Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar.

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Lamoriello doesn't have a deep roster of former players and teammates to rely on when searching for a coach, and he famously stepped out of his comfort zone to hire Barry Trotz for the Islanders in 2018. Now, with Roy, he's found another legend who isn't from Lamoriello's inner circle. Hoping to give this team the needed jolt.

As a player, Roy is one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history. He played 11 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and eight with the Avalanche, winning a Stanley Cup with each franchise. He is the only player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy three times.

In 1,029 games played, Roy went 551-315-131 with a 2.54 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. He was an 11-time All-Star and three-time Vezina Trophy winner.

Lambert, 59, succeeded Trotz as Islanders coach on May 16, 2022. His record with the Islanders in 127 games was 61-46-20.

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(Photo: Doug Bensinger/Getty Images)

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