There are three gaps behind the bench for the New York Islanders after Lou Lamoriello relieved John Gruden and Jim Hiller from their assistant coaching roles. I know that's only two names but with Lambert moving up, that makes it three.
Now Lambert is going to name his own bench and give it his own flavor. But who? Who does he name? We all know it can be just about anyone, but we also know, that hockey is an insular world so knowing who has brushed elbows with Lambert either as a coach or as a player matters.
New York Islanders who could join Lane Lambert behind the bench?
So that's where I started my "search" if you will. Specifically, looking at who's coached with Lambert before. And look, Lambert has been on the coaching scene for a long time. Like 20 years now. His first coaching role, according to Elite Prospects, was an. assistant coach for the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2002-03.
He's been an assistant for most of that time, specifically under the leadership of Barry Trotz. But he's got some time under his belt as a head coach, and that's where I spot Ian Herbers.
He was Lambert's assistant coach in Milwaukee from 2008 through 2011. Herbers has NHL bench experience with time as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers. Herbers has been the head coach with the University of Alberta since 2018.
Looking outside of the playing and coaching connections, we can look internally for a coaching connection.
Johnny Boychuk is an interesting name to consider. We know he's been around the team since having to "retire" after that eye injury, specifically on the ice in a coaching role.
And we know the Islanders, and specifically, Lou Lamoriello has stated he'll welcome Boychuk back in any role possible. We also know the players love Boychuk so having him around would be a welcomed addition.
I think both would be solid additions to the bench. It's going to be interesting to see who Lane Lambert wants to bring in. But this is a good start to us trying to guestimate who might be behind the bench with Lambert.