While the NY Islanders were faltering on their four-game road trip, putting Lane Lambert on the hot seat, Patrick Roy wasn't a name that had crossed many people's minds as a potential replacement behind the bench. Despite being 81 years old, Lou Lamoriello is still as sly and cunning as he's always been, going out and getting the only coach he wanted.
With Roy's hiring being the talk of the hockey world over the last three days, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman shared his thoughts on the hiring on his 32 Thoughts podcast, noticing some trends surrounding Lamoriello's hirings dating back to his time with the NJ Devils.
"First of all, he's [Lamoriello] always had a fascination with the Montreal Canadiens," said Friedman. "He's talked about that before. The Canadiens, the Yankees, Vince Lombardi Packers..."
Hiring people who've been within the most illustrious organization in NHL history is always a terrific place to start, but it may not be the exclusive reason Lamoriello targeted Roy.
"If you go back to his [Lamoriello] time in New Jersey, when he hired Jacques Lemaire, that was Lemaire's second coaching job," Friedman said. "When he hired Robbie Ftorek, that was Robbie Ftorek's second coaching job in the NHL. If you take a look at Larry Robinson, that was Larry Robinson's second coaching job."
Also mentioned, Friedman points out that Lamoriello also gave Claude Julien his second coaching opportunity.
So, what does this all mean?
"Apparently, Lou Lamoriello has done a lot of research into, at what stop are coaches most successful?" said Friedman. "And you know what the answer is? According to what I understand, the research that he's done, it's number two."
Looking at the five coaches that Lamoriello has given their second coaching opportunity, four have had previous ties to the Montreal Canadiens.
Lemaire played 12 seasons with the Habs, becoming their head coach for two seasons between 1983 and 1985. After an eight-year hiatus, he was hired by Lamoriello in New Jersey, where they won the Stanley Cup in Lemaire's second season. Robinson, a 6-time Stanley Cup champion as a player with the Habs, was hired with only eight games remaining in the 2001-2002 season, replacing Robbie Ftorek. Robinson lead the Devils to their second Stanley Cup victory that same season. Claude Julien, hired in 2006, lasted 79 games with the Devils without much success, but his previous job was in Montreal.
And now, of course, there's Roy, who has two Stanley Cup rings with the Habs and his number hanging in the rafters at the Bell Centre. Now in his second NHL coaching job, Lamoriello is hoping he's struck gold once again.