New appointed general manager Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders mean business, despite losing captain and star forward John Tavares at the opening of free agency in July.
On Friday, according to Arthur Staples of The Athletic, the team announced some additions to the coaching staff, including the return of Great Jacques Lemaire.
Lemaire, who was head coach for the Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild, and New Jersey Devils, will serve as an advisor and special assignment coach to the organization.
The former Canadiens player recently worked with the Toronto Maple Leafs, where Lamoriello worked until last season as general manager. He was replaced at the end of the last campaign by Kyle Dubas.
Lemaire and Lamoriello are close friends and will get to tackle this new challenge in New York side by side.
The 73-year-old spent his entire playing career in Montreal where he played a total of 853 games. He scored 366 times and recorded 469 assists in his career. He hoisted the Stanley Cup eight times during his 12 seasons with the Habs, and won it as head coach of the New Jersey Devils back in 1994-95. His career as a NHL player spanned from 1967-68 to 1978-79.
A two-time winner of the Jack Adams award as coach of the year in the NHL, Lemaire has 617 regular season victories in his coaching career and last coached under Lamoriello with the Devils in 2011.
Lemaire will get to advise Barry Trotz, newly appointed at the bar of the New York formation. Trotz hoisted the Stanley Cup last spring while running the Washington Capitals, before accepting an offer to lead the Islanders later this past summer.
There have been many major changes to the Islanders’ front office and many changes behind the bench as well, following many difficult seasons with former GM Garth Snow and former coaches in Jack Capuano and Doug Weight… Lamoriello is looking for a similar approach he used during his time in Toronto as the Islanders are clearly trying to build a different culture on every level. The team has brought in experienced, veteran names at almost every position and will try to complete a similar rebuild to the one Toronto face a few seasons ago.