Toronto Maple Leafs Filling out Coaching Staff with Hire

New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game One
New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game One / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

Wednesday afternoon the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they had hired former New York Islanders coach Lane Lambert as an associate coach for the club.

The addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs coaching staff comes almost three weeks after the team hired Craig Berube as the head coach for the team.

Lane Lambert had served as the head coach for the Islanders during the 2022-23 season where he led the team into the playoffs but were eliminated in the first round by the Carolina Hurricanes in six games. Lambert started this past season in the same role, however, after the team was struggling in January and during a stretch of four straight losses he was relieved of us his duties.

Prior to his head coaching position he served four years as the associate coach for the Islanders dating back in 2018-19.

Toronto Maple Leafs Filling out Coaching Staff with Hire

Lambert has had a lengthy background in coaching as he started his post playing career in the Western Hockey League with the Moose Jaw Warriors as an assistant coach before getting the head coaching position for two years in Prince George.

Despite having Dustin Byfuglien in both seasons with the Cougars he failed to make the playoffs but earned an assistant coaching job in the AHL which led to four seasons as the head coach of the Nashville Predators AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.

Lambert would get the nod in 2011 to be an assistant coach under Barry Trotz for three seasons with the Predators before the two departed together to the Washington Capitals where they would win a Stanley Cup together in 2018.

Lambert would again follow Trotz as the two would head to New York to coach the Islanders together where he served as the assistant coach until finally getting his first NHL head coaching job two seasons ago.

Lambert Had a Much Travelled Playing Career

Prior to his coaching career Lambert had a 16 year professional hockey career that had interruptions between 1990 and 1992. He was a former second overall pick of the Detroit Red Wings in 1983 and made his NHL debut that upcoming season where he scored 20-goals as a rookie, but he was unable to repeat that success. In his sophomore season he followed it up with just 14 goals and then scored just 24 goals for the remainder of his NHL career that ended in 1989.

Over the next decade Lambert would make stops in Germany, Switzerland and the defunct International Hockey League in North America, as well as a season with the Canadian National Team where he finished third on the team in points.

In the same press release the Toronto Maple Leafs also announced that assistant coach Dean Chynoweth would not be returning to the team.

The Calgary native had served as an assistant coach to Sheldon Keefe for three seasons and the decision comes a week and a half after it was learned Manny Malhotra would also not be returning after getting a head coaching job in the AHL.