Islanders promote Lambert to head coach
Lambert succeeds his former boss, Barry Trotz, who the Islanders fired seven days ago.
It won't be the first time Lambert has served as Islanders head coach. The 57-year-old held the job on an interim basis earlier this season when Trotz stepped away for personal reasons and then landed on the COVID-19 list. However, it is Lambert's first full-time NHL head coaching job.
The Islanders missed the playoffs this season for the first time in Trotz's four-year tenure with the club. New York started the campaign with 13 straight road games while awaiting the opening of UBS Arena. The team was then ravaged by a COVID-19 outbreak in November that forced it to play 45 games in 90 nights to end the season.
Lambert was Trotz's right-hand man with the Islanders, Washington Capitals, and Nashville Predators. They guided the Capitals to a Stanley Cup championship together in 2017-18.
The longtime assistant had been a candidate for several other head coaching jobs in the past. Lambert joined Trotz's staff with the Predators in 2011 after leading the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.
Lambert played 283 NHL games in the 1980s with the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, and Quebec Nordiques. The Red Wings drafted him 25th overall in 1983.