The Maple Leafs also announced assistant coach Dean Chynoweth will not be returning.

Not long after new Leafs head coach Craig Berube was fired by the St. Louis Blues, Lane Lambert was fired by the New York Islanders.

Both men, with very long coaching careers, were taking the fall for underperforming teams that weren't actually all that well put together. The Islanders likely should have expected to be a playoff team, but they were struggling, lost a bunch of games, and Lou Lamoriello had decided to bring in Patrick Roy.

Lambert actually only coached the Islanders for a year and a bit. He took over as head coach when Barry Trotz was fired. In his first playoffs with the team they lost very easily to Carolina in the first round and under Roy this year they lost a little easier to Carolina in the first round.

Lambert hasn't been a head coach all that much, and a return to associate coach might suit him very well. What was most unusual about his stint running the Islanders was that it was his first time without Trotz in a very long time.

Lambert's pro assistant coaching career began with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2005. The next year, he moved to the Milwaukee Admirals, the farm team of the Nashville Predators, where he was an assistant for five years. In 2011, he moved up to the Predators where Barry Trotz was his head coach. They stayed on the Preds for four years. Trotz moved to Washington for four years, and Lambert went with him. Trotz moved to the Islanders in 2018, and Lambert went with him. And then in the end, outlasted Trotz's desire to coach.

The Predators haven't shown any sign of hiring Lambert as part of their coaching staff, and while he's a big name as an assistant, that one run of head coaching didn't end well (or any differently than anyone should have expected, but that's not how hockey works).

Lambert was trying to pry the Islanders away from a totally defensive system in order to maximize the offensive value of Mat Barzal and Bo Horvat. It didn't work right away, and ironically the more dynamic-seeming Roy actually brought the defence back to life enough to squeak into the playoffs.

With the Leafs, the job will be less big-picture, and more focused on trying to get a defensive system that allows the offence – which really doesn't need much help – to flourish. The Leafs are also a dramatically better team than the Islanders – much more like the Capitals of his and Trotz's heyday there.

Lambert is one year older than Berube, and turns sixty this fall. He played a short NHL career of 283 games, mostly for the Nordiques, and then continued with several years in Switzerland before returning to play in the IHL.

Lambert is from a small town in Saskatchewan, which looks to Ontario eyes indistinguishable from the small town in Alberta that Berube is from.

They really seem like two of a kind. What will be interesting is if we learn what they disagree about.