NY Islanders Hiring Patrick Roy is Yet Another Show of Faith in this Core

Lou Lamoriello has shown an immense amount of loyalty to the current iteration of the Islanders. Will that faith pay off with a Stanley Cup?

Patrick Roy just might be the guy to lead the New York Islanders back to glory.
Patrick Roy just might be the guy to lead the New York Islanders back to glory. / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

In 1983-1984, the New York Islanders commenced their "Drive for Five." Having won an incredible four straight Stanley Cups the previous four seasons, the dynastic Isles finished the 83-84 season back atop the league standings. But after four straight championships and nineteen straight playoff series wins, the Drive for Five fell short, as Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers finally ended the Isles' reign atop the NHL. Unfortunately, 40 years later, the "Drive for Five" is still ongoing on the Island.

For fans of a certain age, the Islanders' current core represents the best team they have ever seen don the Orange and Blue. Particularly after the exodus of arguably the greatest Islander since the dynasty, the story of the team banding together and pulling off a stretch that included back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances is a special one.

However, every team's window closes, and the best organizations are proactive in altering the roster with the future in mind. Look no further than the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team that took down the Islanders in both of those East Finals appearances. Over the years, they have had to make many ice-cold roster decisions, and while the aging of their stars and the paring down of the roster due to the Salary Cap is finally having an impact on them, they showed that the best organizations are not afraid of making preemptive changes to improve their future outlook.

This takes us to the present-day Islanders. Over the last 2.5 seasons, the results have not been there. in 2021-2022, they missed the post-season. In 2022-2023, they barely made the postseason after the Pittsburgh Penguins unbelievably lost in the last week of the season to the Chicago Blackhawks. And so far this season, they are on the outside looking in with regard to the postseason. During any of these summers, critical changes were an option for this team, and the team chose to largely stand pat.

Look no further than this past offseason. With Scott Mayfield, Semyon Varlamov, and Pierre Engvall becoming unrestricted free agents, the Islanders had a prime opportunity to reshape the roster. Instead, they committed to these same players, bringing back largely the same roster yet again.

Which takes us to this past week. With the Islanders looking hopeless against the Minnesota Wild, it was a time for reflection in the front office. Nobody would have blamed the Islanders for taking a step back, re-assessing in the short term, and reloading this summer. After all, they had become a country club, and the grind and effort that made the Islanders successful in recent years was nowhere to be found.

Patrick Roy, holding the 2006 Memorial Cup, has been a winner at every stop during his hockey career. Will that continue on Long Island?
Patrick Roy, holding the 2006 Memorial Cup, has been a winner at every stop during his hockey career. Will that continue on Long Island? / Mike Dembeck/GettyImages

But Lou Lamoriello- yet again- has shown faith in this core by firing Lane Lambert and hiring Hockey Hall of Famer Patrick Roy. Roy has won a Jack Adams award as well as two Memorial Cups in his post-playing career as a coach. He famously won four Stanley Cups and an NHL-record three Conn Smythe trophies. Roy's fiery coaching style will demand more effort than we have seen from this team this season, as already evidenced by the last two games against the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights.

By hiring Roy, Lamoriello has put the pressure squarely on this core to deliver. He has given them a legendary coach with his own personal redemption on the line. Roy's recent performance coaching the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL should cause optimism amongst Isles fans who crave an intense, structured team that will not quit.

And above everything else, Roy is simply a winner. He has won accolades at every stop during his hockey life: two Stanley Cup championships with the Montreal Canadiens, two Stanley Cup championships with the Colorado Avalanche, and two Memorial Cup championships coaching the Remparts.

Just like the Islanders, Patrick Roy has been stuck on four Stanley Cup championships for way too long. His intensity and fiery attitude show a coach fervently pursuing his own elusive fifth Cup. It's time for this Islanders core to reward that passion, and finally complete the "Drive for Five," not only for both Roy and the Islanders organization but for the thousands of fans that dare to dream.