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Head Coach Hunt: Lane Lambert

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One of Barry Trotz’s longtime assistants, Lambert could be ready to helm a team of his own.

Washington Capitals v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Lane Lambert

Age: 54

NHL Coaching Record: N/A

AHL Coaching Record: 178-103-39

The Athletic’s Josh Cooper published a look at Lane Lambert as a potential head coaching candidate today, with Sportsnet’s John Shannon confirming that the current New York Islanders assistant will interview for the job in Anaheim.

Lambert is just the second candidate who has been confirmed to have an interview with the Ducks, the other being Dallas Eakins.

Lambert began his professional head coaching career with the Milwaukee Admirals as part of the Nashville Predators organization from 2007-2011. His teams made the Calder Cup Playoffs every season while averaging at least 41 wins per season, but had limited success in the postseason, never making it past the second round.

Lambert was called up to Nashville before the 2011-2012 season to coach alongside Barry Trotz and has remained by his side ever since, following him to the Washington Capitals in 2014 and again to the Islanders last season.

Lambert has been on the NHL head coaching radar for a couple of years now after interviewing for the Colorado Avalanche job in 2016. That role went to Jared Bednar. Now, with four current bench boss vacancies including Anaheim, it looks as though he will get another shot at running a team from the ice.

Similar to Eakins, those who have played under Lambert give him glowing recommendations. He has been praised for his outstanding communication skills (something Bob Murray has stated is one of the most important qualities he’s looking for in a head coach) and his teaching ability. He’s known for getting the most out of players, specifically forwards, who may not have realized their full potential, receiving credit helping players like Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson realize their full potential as offensive contributors.

Lambert has also had plenty of success handling the penalty kill units, guiding Washington to the sixth best kill from 2014-2018.

The biggest question for Lambert will be if he can thrive outside of Trotz’s shadow. He hasn’t had any head coaching experience in eight years, and Trotz has been given much of the public credit for his team’s successes.

Is Lambert a product of Trotz’s systems and leadership? Or can he bring his own style to the table and success to a team on the verge of a significant injection of youth. He has ringing endorsements from those who have worked with him in the past; even from Barry Trotz himself.

Lambert has plenty of NHL coaching experience, but is not part of the re-tread, re-hire crew that hockey general managers love so much. If nothing else, he’s a new face that can bring a fresh perspective born out of plenty of experience on NHL teams with modern play styles to a team that desperately needs it.