NHL Notebook: Kraken forward Yanni Gourde suspended for charging Oilers’ Mattias Ekholm and New York Islanders relieve head coach Lane Lambert; Patrick Roy to replace him

Photo credit:Chris Humphrey/USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
4 months ago
Seattle Kraken forward Yanni Gourde has been suspended for two games due to charging Edmonton Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm on Thursday during the Oilers’ 4-2 victory on Thursday.
On Friday, The NHL Department of Player Safety announced that Gourde would undergo a hearing for his actions in Thursday night’s contest and on Saturday that it would result in a two-game suspension.
The incident occurred on Thursday evening when the Kraken were down 3-2 at 16:26 in the third period. Gourde charged Ekholm as a result of an earlier incident between the two, catching Ekholm up high. The forward was given a five-minute major and a game with less than four minutes remaining, prompting an Oilers powerplay and allowing Oilers’ Zach Hyman to secure the game 4-2.
Additionally, Gourde will forfeit $53,819.44 in salary under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL’s player association and the league itself.
Gourde will be eligible to return on January 26th when the Kraken takes on the St. Louis Blues but will miss two prior home games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Gourde has seven goals and 19 points across 45 games this season. EliteProspects projects that the third-year Kraken veteran will record at least six more goals and 16 more points throughout the remainder of the 2023-24 regular season.
Despite the game taking a turn for the Kraken, the Oilers were able to capitalize on the opportunity earning themselves their 12th straight win to tie the 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens for the longest winning streak by a Canadian NHL team.
The Kraken are placed sixth in the Pacific Division with 47 points throughout 45 games. Meanwhile, the Oilers have worked their way up to third place in the Pacific Division with 51 points throughout 41 games.

New York Islanders relieve head coach Lane Lambert; Patrick Roy to replace him

On Saturday, the New York Islanders revealed that President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Lou Lamoriello had relieved head coach Lane Lambert of his responsibilities, naming Patrick Roy the new head coach of the Islanders.
The Islanders have struggled behind Lambert’s leadership throughout the first half of the 2023-24 campaign. However, Friday night’s overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks would become the final game that Lambert would behold as head coach.
The Islanders started to see things go downhill beginning in November after holding a seven-game losing streak but turned their season around shortly after. Since the New Year, the Islanders have slipped back into their old habits with a record of 2-5-2. They sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division with 49 points in 45 games.
Last season, Roy served as the Head Coach for the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL, leading them to a Memorial Cup Championship and a QMJHL Championship. His NHL experience goes back to his time with the Colorado Avalanche, where he served as head coach for three seasons in 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16, winning the Jack Adams Award in 2014 as NHL Coach of the Year.
Roy once played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1984 until 1995. In Montreal, he won two Stanley Cup Championships and nine awards, including two Conn Smythe Trophies (1985-86 and 1992-93), four William M. Jennings Trophies (1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1991-92), and three Vezina Trophies (1988-89, 1989-90, 199192). His first Conn Smythe Trophy made him the youngest player in NHL history to win the prestigious award. Roy later backstopped the Colorado Avalanche to two more Stanley Cup Championships (1996 and 2001), winning him one more Conn Smythe Trophy (2000-01) and an additional William M. Jennings Trophy (2001-02).
Roy will make his first appearance behind the bench for the Islanders on Sunday when the club takes on the Dallas Stars.

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