Collaboration between Lamoriello and Roy is key for the NY Islanders off-season

Mar 16, 2024; Elmont, New York, USA;  New York Islanders head coach Patrick Roy addresses the media
Mar 16, 2024; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders head coach Patrick Roy addresses the media / Thomas Salus-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders head into the off-season with Lou Lamoriello in charge, just as he's been the previous six seasons, but there's a little bit of a different feel heading into this off-season for two main reasons. The first is the likelihood that the roster will have some turnover, and the second is that head coach Patrick Roy will have input into shaping it.

On clean-out day, there was Lamoriello making the announcement alongside Roy that both would be back this season. The visual of the two Hall-of-Famers sitting side-by-side was a strong one, presenting both a partnership and relationship that forged over just a few months after Lamoriello made the decision to relieve Lane Lambert of his duties and put Roy behind an NHL bench for the first time in six seasons.

The two have long had mutual respect for each other, having had Lamoriello's team battle against Roy, including one in the Stanley Cup Final. However, when deciding to make a change, Lamoriello didn't reach out to someone he had strong ties to. He surveyed the landscape of potential candidates and landed on Roy after seeing his success in juniors.

"It's funny because when we were in LA, Rob Blake (GM of the Kings) came to me and said, 'Where did this relationship come from?' because nobody saw this coming," recalled Roy. "And I said 'nowhere,' just two guys that played against each other and have tons of respect for each other, and that's how it happened."

With around 40 games to evaluate the roster, Roy will now have input that will shape the direction of the team for next season. He made it clear on the day he was hired that he has no interest in management at this time after his experience in Colorado, but that doesn't mean that Lamoriello won't lean on him to support the decision making it.

"What changes can and should take place? We'll talk about it together," Lamoriello said at the press conference. “We'll come up with whatever is best, but we're excited."

Lamoriello and Barry Trotz came in at the same time with the goal of creating a new culture and identity for the team. It worked better than anyone expected. Lamoriello then tried to maintain continuity when Lambert was named as Trotz's successor. That didn't work out quite as well. Now, with Roy, it's not starting all over again, but he needs players that can play Roy's system best. Lamoriello knows this, and it's reasonable to assume we'll see that shape how the team is constructed this off-season and moving forward, aligned to the vision of both.