Lane Lambert has chosen his coaching staff. Yesterday, the New York Islanders announced that Doug Houda and Brian Wiseman have been named assistant coaches.
Houda is a long-time assistant coach in the NHL that has spent the last 16 seasons in an assistant role. He was behind the Detroit Red Wings bench for the last six seasons, and before that spent 10 seasons behind the Boston Bruins bench and even hoisted the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011.
A former NHLer, Houda was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1984 in the second round. He played 561 NHL games with the Red Wings, Hartford Whalers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Islanders, and Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Houda spent two seasons with the Islanders playing 11 games between 1996 and 1998.
Much like Houda, Wiseman is also a long-time assistant coach, however, is relatively new at the NHL level. He spent the last three seasons behind the Edmonton Oilers bench as the assistant to Dave Tippet, but more recently Jay Woodcroft. Prior to his time in the NHL, Wiseman spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan from 2011 to 2019.
Prior to the announcement that Wiseman was joining the Islanders, TSN's Darren Dreger reported that a number of teams had strong interest in Wiseman.
Houda's focus behind the bench is on defense where he will help keep the Islanders' structure in place. Wiseman focuses on young players and developing their skills, good news for Oliver Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson, Kieffer Bellows, and maybe even Robin Salo.
As some have pointed out already, Houda was instrumental in the development of Calder Trophy winner, Moritz Seider last season. According to Chris Botta, a former Islanders reporter, the Islanders are receiving a high-quality character in Houda.
Houda and Wiseman come to the Islanders in a time where despite missing the playoffs in the 2021-22 season, expectations are still high. Many pegged the 2021-22 season as an anomaly and look to Lambert and now Houda and Wiseman to help the Islanders return to the playoffs in the 2022-23 season.