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NHL Coaching Changes Galore on Monday Morning

Photo by Stephen Sylvanie

NHL Coaching Changes Galore on Monday Morning

The National Hockey League doesn’t have the NFL’s equivalent of a ‘Black Monday’, but it appears that Monday, May 16 may have served as somewhat of a reassessment period, with two sizeable coaching changes of note.

With general manager Lou Lamoriello firing Barry Trotz exactly one week ago to the day following his first missed postseason in four years with New York, the Islanders acted rather quickly, promoting assistant coach Lane Lambert to the head coaching gig one week later.

The 57-year-old Lambert has served as Trotz’s associate for many seasons, both with Nashville and Washington, before moving with Trotz to the Island.

“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,” Lamoriello said. “In my opinion, he is the right person to coach this team.”

Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings 25th overall in 1983, Lambert went on to product 58 goals, 124 points and 521 penalty minutes in 283 games from 1983-89. He began coaching shortly after his retirement from professional hockey.

Over in Vegas, news broke that general manager Kelly McCrimmon had also dropped the axe on his coaching staff consisting of head man Peter DeBoer, as well as assistants Steve Spott and Ryan McGill.

DeBoer, who joined the Golden Knights three years back saw his club miss the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Again, much like that of Trotz’s failure to reach the postseason, Vegas’ season was hampered heavily by COVID and major injury. The club narrowly missed out on the playoffs, falling short in the final week of play.

“We would like to thank Pete DeBoer for his commitment to the Vegas Golden Knights over the past three seasons,” McKrimmon said. “Since joining the organization, Pete and his staff have guided us through some of the most unique and challenging circumstances we’ve witnessed since our franchise entered the NHL. After lengthy discussions over the last two weeks, we believe that a new coach will put us in the best position to succeed next season.”

With Barry Trotz leading the way as the top candidate available, expect the Golden Knights to push heavily for his services. John Tortorella, Randy Carlyle and Mike Babcock also remain as available possibilities.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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