Lambert is an internal promotion, having served as an associate coach with the team since the 2018-19 season. Lambert’s led a long career as both a player and coach, also serving as an assistant coach under Trotz for both the Nashville Predators (2011-2014) and Washington Capitals (2014-2018). Lambert’s last experience as a head coach came with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals from 2007-2011.
Lambert actually took over as the team’s head coach for a few games midseason while Trotz was away from the team on a personal leave of absence. He’s the uncle of top 2022 draft prospect Brad Lambert. He becomes the 18th person to coach the Islanders and the fourth in the past 10 years.
Under Lambert, the Islanders look to return to their winning ways after missing the playoffs by 16 points this season. The team had advanced to the Eastern Conference Final in the previous two seasons. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said the following today regarding his hiring:
I had the opportunity to work with Lane over the past four years, which includes spending time with him on a one-on-one basis when he served as the interim Head Coach this past season. In my opinion, he is the right person to coach this team.
Lambert was a candidate of interest for many teams around the league for head coaching roles. PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan reported today that Lambert was a candidate for the Arizona Coyotes’ coaching vacancy last season before the team decided to opt for Andre Tourigny.
It’s a large cloud moved off the Islanders’ offseason, as they’re able to move forward into the draft and free agency with their situation settled behind the bench.