NHL great Patrick Roy named Islanders head coach in shocking move


Facing a sluggish start to the season, the New York Islanders made a surprising move on Saturday afternoon by dismissing head coach Lane Lambert. The unexpected twist, however, came with the appointment of legendary goalie Patrick Roy as his successor.

Despite being considered a rising team, the Islanders reached the Eastern Conference Final in both 2020 and 2021, falling just one win short of the Stanley Cup Final in the latter year, losing both times to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Their debut season at the UBS Arena resulted in a playoff miss, and although they barely qualified last season, they were eliminated in the first round by the Carolina Hurricanes in six games.

Currently positioned as the sixth seed in the Metropolitan Division, the Islanders face challenges, including injuries, especially on the defensive end. Notable players like Adam Pelech and Matt Martin have been sidelined, while forward Casey Cizikas is nursing a lower-body injury. Backup goalie Semyon Varlamov’s performance has added pressure on Ilya Sorokin, who leads the NHL in saves but also in shots faced.

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Patrick Roy, who previously coached the Colorado Avalanche from 2013 to 2016, is now entrusted with revitalizing the Islanders. Renowned as one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, Roy secured four Stanley Cups, two each with the Montreal Canadiens and Avalanche. With a 551-315-131 record at the time of retirement, Roy was once the all-time wins leader in the NHL (since surpassed by Brodeur and Fleury). The Hall of Famer boasts three Conn Smythe Trophy wins, three Vezina Trophies, and 11 All-Star appearances.

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