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Friedman: Brad Lauer, Lane Lambert two assistant coaches connected to Maple Leafs

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Photo credit:© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
22 days ago
Until they fill out and finalize their coaching staff following the hiring of Craig Berube two weeks ago, speculation of possible candidates will continue to circulate regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs’ coaching staff for 2024-25.
On the latest episode of the 32 Thoughts Podcast with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, the two discussed a variety of topics, including coaches and assistant coaches. They began talking about the Seattle Kraken hiring Dan Bylsma as their next head coach and, of course, the New Jersey Devils introducing Sheldon Keefe as their 20th head coach in franchise history.
After talking about the Kraken and Devils hiring their new bench bosses, the two then pivoted to the recent news of Mike Yeo and the Vancouver Canucks mutually parting ways after two seasons behind the bench as an assistant coach. And then they got into some names Friedman had heard regarding possible candidates for Toronto.
“Some of the names I have heard that have been kind of connected a bit to Toronto have been Brad Lauer, who was let go, or I guess they said mutually left Winnipeg. And I heard Lane Lambert’s name out there too. We’ll see what they decide to do. Toronto, knowing them, they’re casting a wide net.”
Ever since Berube’s hiring, there’s been one name floating out there as a real possibility to join Toronto’s coaching staff. Marc Savard, who mutually agreed to part ways with the Calgary Flames last week, was on the 2019-20 St. Louis Blues coaching staff with Berube and, if he were to join Toronto, would likely take over the power play after being in charge of the Flames’ power play this past season.
Aside from Savard, no other names have been thrown out there by insiders until now by Elliotte Friedman. Lauer spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Winnipeg Jets and has been behind a bench either as a head coach or assistant coach in the NHL, AHL and WHL in 21 of the last 22 years.
Before his two-year stint with the Jets, Lauer’s other NHL experience has come with the Tampa Bay Lightning (2016-17 – 2017-18), Anaheim Ducks (2012-13 – 2014-15), and Ottawa Senators (2009-10 – 2010-11) as an assistant coach. He also spent three years as an assistant coach in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals (2007-08 – 2008-09) and Syracuse Crunch (2011-12) and five seasons in the WHL with the Kootenay Ice as an assistant coach (2002-03 – 2006-07).
After mutually agreeing to part ways with the Lightning at the end of the 2017-18 season, Lauer went to the WHL for four seasons and became the head coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings, coaching them to three 40-win seasons, including one 50-win season, making the playoffs twice (no playoffs in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19). In the shortened 2020-21 season, Lauer’s Oil Kings finished the WHL season with a ridiculous 20-2-1 record and followed that season up with a 50-14-4 campaign to go along with the WHL Championship in 2022.
The other name Friedman mentioned in his podcast, Lane Lambert, has spent the last 13 years behind an NHL bench, including the previous year and a half as a head coach with the New York Islanders before being fired and replaced by Patrick Roy earlier this year.
Lambert, similarly to Lauer, has tons of experience as a head coach and assistant coach, whether in the NHL, AHL or WHL. Before making his pro debut as a coach, Lambert spent four years in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Prince George Cougars between 2002-03 and 2004-05. He was brought in as an assistant coach for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2005 and spent the next five years in the AHL, eventually becoming the head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals ahead of the 2006-07 season until the 2010-11 season. Fun fact: Lambert and Lauer were on the same coaching staff in Milwaukee between the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.
Before his two-year stint with the Islanders as head coach, Lambert spent the four previous years as their associate coach. Before that, he split the prior seven years with the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals, winning the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018 as an assistant coach.
(Coaching records from hockeydb.com)

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