There were two major coaching announcements when it came to National Hockey League coaches on Monday. The New York Islanders hired Lane Lambert of Swift Current, Saskatchewan as their new head coach according to the Associated Press, while the Vegas Golden Knights fired Peter DeBoer of Dunnville, Ontario according to Reuters.
Islanders hiring Lambert
The hiring of Lambert comes one week after the Islanders shocked the hockey world with the firing of Barry Trotz. However at first glance, the hiring of Lambert is rather interesting when you consider the fact Lambert had been an assistant or an associate coach under Barry Trotz in Nashville, Washington and the New York Islanders for the last 11 years. The highlight for Lambert as a head coach came in 2018 when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup.
Unlike Trotz, Lambert played in the NHL. He was with the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, and Quebec Nordiques from 1983 to 1989. He had 58 goals and 65 assists for 123 points in 283 games as a center.
Golden Knights fire De Boer
The Vegas Golden Knights completely underachieved in 2021-22 and De Boer lost his job as a result. Sure, you could make the argument that Vegas struggled down the stretch because of a significant injury to their goaltender–Robin Lehner, who missed significant time with a shoulder injury. However, Vegas was absolutely loaded with offensive and defensive skill and had a very strong reputable backup in Logan Thompson. We are currently seeing how strong Thompson is as a goaltender, as he is Canada’s number one netminder at the 2022 World Men’s Hockey Championship in Helsinki, Finland.
The bottom line is when Vegas acquired Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres in November, this was supposed to be a deal that would make the Golden Knights a Stanley Cup contender. Instead, they finished four points back of the Dallas Stars for a playoff spot.