The so-called "Country Club" atmosphere in the NY Islanders locker room is over, as the organization announced the firing of Lane Lambert and the hiring of Partick Roy as the new head coach.
Known as one of the greatest goaltenders in history, Roy last coached in the NHL in 2016 with the Colorado Avalanche. He spent three years with the organization before being replaced by current head coach Jared Bednar.
Roy has been known as a no-nonsense guy since his playing days. During his time in Colorado, perhaps Roy's most memorable moment was his near scuffle with then Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. As the two exchanged words from their respective benches, Roy proceeded to push the stanchion between the two benches, nearly collapsing onto Boudreau.
After last night's loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, which happened to be the final nail in the coffin for Lambert, in his final meeting with the media as Islanders head coach, Lambert explained that certain players weren't living up to expectations. He didn't name names, but Roy, on the other hand, has no issue calling out players directly. While Matt Duchene was a member of the Avs, he scored a goal to cut the Avs deficit to 4-1 in a matchup with the St. Louis Blues with 4:14 remaining in the game. Duchene celebrated the goal, causing Roy to rip into him postgame.
"And the thing I have a hard time [with] is the reaction of Duchy [Duchene] after he scores," said Roy to the media. "It's a 4-0 goal. Big cheer. Are you kidding me? What is that? I mean, it's not the reflect we want from our guys. Not at all. We need to change the mindset. I mean, I think we have a losing mindset right now. I mean, I think we have to find ways to believe more in ourselves."
After his departure from Colorado, Roy has spent the last five seasons as the HeadCoach/General Manager of the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL - a team he is part owner of. Last year, Roy and Quebec hoisted the Memorial Trophy as they were crowned CHL champions.
The fans wanted a change, and they sure got one that nobody saw coming.