New coach Lane Lambert wants to get back the old identity of the Islanders


Lane Lambert’s appointment as the Islanders’ head coach had more to do with regaining the team’s identity than forging a new one.

His way of doing that started to become clear on Thursday, when Lambert officially led training at the training camp for the first time.

“The new voice is just my voice,” said Lambert, who was last season’s top assistant to Barry Trotz, who was fired in May after the Islanders missed the playoffs. “It’s different in the way I communicate and the way I talk. There’s nothing wrong with the old voice in terms of what he did, but it’s definitely different for me now. I am a demanding, passionate man, I really am. And the players know that and they respect that and I respect them.”

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The Islanders aren’t expected to drastically change the way they play under Lambert, but not everything will be the same.

Islanders head coach Lane Lambert attends practice during training camp at Northwell Health Ice Center.
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“I think after a few encounters and the first day they really want us to be aggressive in all three areas of the zone,” defender Noah Dobson told The Post. “Especially for D-men, a big emphasis is on our holes and getting off the ice and being aggressive.”

That emphasis is different from how the Islanders played last season, when they prioritized defense structure over contributing to the rush.

Aggressive, it turned out, was a locker room buzzword.

“He talked about being only more aggressive and just wanting to be threatening at all times,” said center Mathew Barzal. “Trying to get the D a little more active, just skating more.”

As for Lambert’s communication style, players will find him direct and willing to hold them accountable. That should help them regain the rhythm that eludes them during a disastrous 2021-22.

“I think towards the end [of the season], we got back on top. We started to become a tough team to play against again,” center Jean-Gabriel Pageau told The Post. “And I think that’s what we want to get back to.”

Defender Bode Wilde, who was exiled to Sweden last year after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, will not attend training camp, according to the team. The Islanders come up with an assignment for Wilde this season.

The Islanders will lose their pick in the third round of 2023 to the Coyotes, who have traded them conditionally in the deal with Andrew Ladd. Ladd reportedly failed his physical and will go on IR.

LW Otto Koivula, D Isaiah George and LW Collin Adams did not skate on Thursday with unknown injuries. Lambert said they would be evaluated on Friday.



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