New York Islanders associate coach Lane Lambert has been a strong candidate for an NHL head Coaching position for years now. Whenever there's an opening his name usually pops up.
Back in 2019 were close to losing Lambert when he interviewed for the Anaheim Ducks opening. The job was given to Dallas Eakins. The Ducks AHL coach at the time.
With the NHL season effectively (there's one more game to play on Sunday), the head coach firing season will soon begin. On Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings announced they would not be renewing head coach Jeff Blashill. And that's an opening that has Lane Lambert's name written all over it.
New York Islanders could lose Lane Lambert this year
It starts with a dynamic group of young forwards. Lucas Raymond, Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, and even captain Dylan Larkin is still quite young. Larkin turns 26 at the end of July. Taking care of the forwards was Lambert's main responsibility for the Islanders so I imagine he'd relish taking care of these talented kids.
But the talent doesn't stop there. Defenseman Mortiz Seider will be in the Calder conversation this year and could win it. Not to mention goalie Alex Nedeljkovic who finished third for the Calder last year.
There's a lot of talent on that Red Wings squad that just needs to be molded. They need to be taught how to play better defense (they ranked 31st for GA with 310 in 21-22), how to play as a cohesive unit, and how to play a team game. Lane Lambert knows just how to get that done, from shadowing Barry Trotz all these years.
And then you get into the connection between Detroit's Executive Vice President and GM Steve Yzerman and Lane Lambert. The two go way back. Not only did they start their NHL careers with the Red Wings in 1983-84, but they were roomies as well.
In the NHL those connections matter a lot. No guarantee that Lane Lambert gets the job, but we shouldn't be surprised if Lambert interviews for it an eventually gets it.
This is an up-and-coming team with a ton of talent with a GM that has a track record of success. Sounds like the perfect place for Lambert.