Nothing is official until Lou Lamoriello says it's official. However, it turns out the leak of Benoit Desrosiers pending hire to Patrick Roy's coaching staff was true and didn't hurt any chance of him joining the organization and joining the new New York Islanders head coach on the bench.
On Jan. 22, a French-Canadien news outlet reported that Desrosiers, who served as Roy's assistant coach with the Quebec Remparts from 2018 to 2013, was joining the Islanders staff as an assistant coach. Following the report circulating, the Islanders refuted the story, saying that Desrosiers had not been hired by the team, but there were plans for him to meet Lamorielloin in the future.
That meeting happened, and on Friday morning, the team announced the hiring.
The 35-year-old, who leaves his job as head coach of the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL, joins a staff that includes John MacLean and Doug Houda. Prior to his time alongside Roy in Quebec, Desrosiers had been an assistant coach with Sherbrooke Phoenix for four seasons and the Chicoutimi Saguenéens during the 2012-13 campaign.
Since being hired by Lamoriello, Roy has talked extensively about his experience coaching the Remparts and what he learned since resigning from the Colorado Avalanche in 2016. Under his guidance, the Quebec juniors team became one of the best defensively structured teams in the league, culminating in winning the Memorial Cup in 2023.
The addition of Desrosiers gives Roy another voice that is familiar with his system. That doesn't necessarily mean we'll see a less animated Roy at practice, where he has been whistling and banging his stick while shouting instructions, but it's important that Roy now has someone that speaks the same language he is implementing on Long Island.
The future for MacLean and Houda on the Isles bench beyond this year is murky at best, but it would be a safe bet that Desrosiers was hired to be what Lane Lambert was to Barry Trotz for all those years - his right hand man.