NY Islanders captain, Anders Lee, has been a leader all his life. This season, with the addition of new head coach Lane Lambert, Lee's leadership will be needed now more than ever. Lee received his first call-up to the Islanders' main roster back in the 2012-13 season. However, it wasn't until the 2014-15 season that he would become a mainstay on the Islanders.
Lee has been successful year after year for the Islanders. After the departure of former captain, and now public enemy No.1, John Tavares, back in 2018, Lee was named the new team captain. Lee signed a contract in July 2019 that keeps him on Long Island until at least the end of the 2025-2026 season.
Lee is great on the ice, and that's no secret. He's a multi-30-goal scorer, and in one of those seasons, he banked 40. However, Lee's leadership is also something that plays a major part in his role on the Islanders. When Lee spoke with 43 Oak Foundation, you could see how important being a leader means to him, both on, and off the ice.
"You look out for your teammates and you're going to start to earn their respect. You're going to have to show respect for them in many ways. That's what makes a great teammate and having their backs in more situations than just on the ice."- Anders Lee
Lee went on to talk about how even during a winning streak, a player may be dealing with struggles either on or off the ice, so it's important to check on them.
Lee sustained an ACL injury in March of 2021. This would unfortunately sideline him for the remainder of the season. However, even though his presence wasn't there on the ice, he would play a major role in the locker room during the Isles playoff run in 2021, pumping up the guys in a pre-game speech to make sure they were all ready to go.
That same fire from Lee will be necessary for the Islanders on and off the ice this season. With a lot of uncertainty regarding the Isles new head coach, Lee's leadership skills will be needed more than ever. Lambert has been with the Islanders just as long as former head coach Barry Trotz. There's bound to be a transition period with Lambert implementing his own style on the system now that he's calling the shots. Lee will be relied on to keep the Islanders on track through thick and thin this season as the team's leader.
Much like the rest of the Islanders, Lee struggled in the early goings of the 2021-22 season. Unlike some, however, Lee got himself back on track and ended the season with 28 goals and on a 30-goal pace over an 82-game span. The Islanders will look to right a lot of the wrongs that made many peg last season as an anomaly. Starting with their captain, the Islanders will be led by Lee in their fight to return to the playoffs, the Eastern Conference Finals, and ultimately the Stanley Cup.