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Islanders Hire Legendary NHL Goalie, Patrick Roy, as New Head Coach

The New York Islanders announced on Jan. 20 that head coach Lane Lambert had been relieved of his duties. Wasting no time at all, the team also announced that Patrick Roy would be stepping in as the new bench boss of the club.

There were struggles and inconsistency throughout the 45 games Lambert coached this season, including the Isles winning only two of the last 10 games played before his departure. 

The firing of Lambert was inevitable, but for his replacement to be one of the best National Hockey League goaltenders of all time was truly a surprise to the hockey community.

Most fans remember Roy’s coaching career only from his time with the Colorado Avalanche, where he stayed for three seasons spanning from 2013-2016. 

In this time, the Roy-led Avalanche went 130-92-24, making the playoffs only in the 2013-14 season. In that same season, Roy won the Jack Adams Award, which is given to the coach of the year. 

Roy abruptly resigned from the Avalanche in the summer following the 2015-16 campaign. 

That was the last NHL action he saw until he made his Islanders coaching debut on Sunday night against the Dallas Stars. 

A sure-to-be memorable night for the Isles’ new coach, as the team came back from a 2-1 deficit in the third period for an eventual 3-2 overtime victory. 

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello had high praise for the new head coach. 

“Patrick can flat-out coach. I’ve seen it. I actually watched a lot of his junior games. We certainly watch the Memorial Cup,” Lamoriello said. “But we also knew, when he was in Colorado, what he did with the team that he had in Colorado, you just go back to what the record was there.” 

Lamoriello references his resume in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, one of three leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League. 

Roy had two stints head coaching the Quebec Remparts, once from 2005-2013 and then from 2018-2023. Of the 845 games that he was behind the bench for, 524 of them were wins. 

The Remparts were Memorial Cup Champions during the 2022- 23 season, the most prestigious trophy in all major junior hockey. 

Roy spoke on his objective for this new venture in his career.

 “Our fanbase is extremely important. I want the fans to come to our games and be excited about us. I want our fans to walk in the street wearing that jersey and be proud of that team. That is my objective.” 

Upcoming this week, the team will play against the Seattle Kraken at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 13. The Islanders will also go against the New York Rangers on Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. 

The optimism Roy brings to his new position is a great addition to the New York-based team. Many hope to see Roy’s passion transfer to the energy of the players on the ice, especially in these upcoming weeks. 

The influx of support from loyal fans and the excitement of a new coach gives the Islanders a prospective future this season. Fans hope that these next few games serve as a testament to Roy’s intentions of leading the team on a winning streak all the way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and that as he hopes, people will be proud to wear the team jersey.

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