The New York Islanders needed a new voice according to GM Lou Lamoriello. As we found out, the new voice is the former associate coach and now current head coach, Lane Lambert.
Lambert has been with Barry Trotz for quite some time now and has waited patiently for his opportunity as a head coach. Many teams inquired in the past and leading up to the off-season with the interest of having Lambert fill their respective coaching vacancy.
However, Lambert continued to return to Trotz’s staff and at one point in the 2021-22 season, Lambert had the opportunity to coach the team in Trotz’s unfortunate absence.
Is this a new voice?
Although Lambert is new at the helm, how much of a different voice can it be? Lambert has not only been with Trotz for quite some time, but he has been with this group of Islanders players for the past four seasons.
In the brief stint with Lambert assuming head coaching duties in January, the younger players seemed to thrive. Keiffer Bellows had a particularly nice run of games under Lambert.
Was the success of the younger players a coincidence or because of Lambert?
The statement that the team needs a new voice indicates that most of the current squad will be returning. Whether the team is the same due to cap constraints or by choice, Lambert will need to put a stamp on this group quickly.
Ultimately, the roster will be out of Lambert's control, but what he can control is the change in “voice” in the locker room.
Lambert's Fingerprint on the Roster
Every assistant coach has a new plan or idea to improve the roster and Lambert has already convinced Lamoriello of a new plan.
The infusion of youth in the lineup could ultimately be the change that Lambert will bring. Giving confidence to players like Robin Salo, Oliver Wahlstrom and Bellows could be the missing piece from this veteran group.
But with many of the aging veterans losing facets of their games quickly, this team will need to spice things up to bring back the playoff magic.