Lambert to lead Tech hockey program

April 22, 2016

The Tech 1921 Ltd. is expanding its new-endeavour, Sault Ste. Marie hockey holdings to the extent that it is hiring the reputable Denny Lambert as its full-time director.

A self-made man who defied the odds to play the game at its highest level despite never being drafted, the 46-year old Lambert will serve as the director of hockey operations for The Tech.

Besides recently taking over ownership of the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, the owners of The Tech intend to start their own bantam-and-midget aged hockey academy with Lambert overseeing the entire program as director.

The Tech group owns and operates a refurbished facility that is quickly becoming a jewel in the downtown area of Wellington St. E. in Sault Ste. Marie.

Previously, the venerable building served as a learning institution for more than 90 years, first as Soo Technical and Commercial High School, then as Lakeway Collegiate, then as St. Mary’s College.

Ongoing plans for the large, multi-purpose facility include being a full-fledged academy for arts, athletics and trades.

The recently-opened Tech facility already houses a number of tenants including a bistro-style restaurant and bakery, a simulated golf range and a fitness centre.

As for its ambitious hockey plans, The Tech ownership group has hired an honest, hard-driven individual in the aforementioned Lambert.

In between playing for and coaching in the Ontario Hockey League with the Soo Greyhounds, the 46-year old Lambert skated in more than 500 National Hockey League games as a hard-toiling left winger with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators and Atlanta Thrashers.

A crowd favourite wherever he played because of his robust, relentless style of play, Lambert toughed it out to play in 504 NHL games despite scoring only 27 career goals.

Never drafted into the OHL or the NHL, Lambert made a name for himself as a team-first, never-say-die, energy player who did not back down from anyone despite being modestly built at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds.

Following the end of his playing career in 2003, Lambert — who originally hails from Wawa — returned to the Soo as an assistant coach with the Greyhounds, for whom he had played from 1988 until 1991.

Lambert spent five seasons as an assistant with the Greyhounds before being elevated to head coach in 2008. He served as head coach of the Greyhounds for the full 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons but was fired by then-general manager Dave Torrie 40 games into the 2010-2011 campaign.

As head coach of the Greyhounds, Lambert posted a record of 69-93-14 and led the Soo into the OHL playoffs in 2009-2010.

He last coached the Batchewana Attack of the erstwhile Canadian International Hockey League in 2014-2015, leading the team to the championship.

Married to wife Rhonda with two sons, Lambert is also a trained police officer.

But now it’s on to a new chapter for Lambert in a sport that he loves.

Lambert recently resigned his position as a safety officer at Essar Steel to take the director of hockey operations job with The Tech.

“To be able to get back into hockey full time without leaving our home in Sault Ste. Marie is a great opportunity for me and my family,” Lambert told

“I have always loved the game,” Lambert continued, “and I am fortunate and thankful to get back into hockey full-time with the plans that The Tech has for the Thunderbirds and the process that will lead to the start of the academy.”

Lambert said one of the goals of the academy “will be to get hockey in Sault Ste. Marie on a level playing field with the southern Ontario cities that already combine sports with school.

“The focus will always be on education…combining school with being properly-trained as a hockey player,” he continued. “Kids coming to us as bantam-aged (Grade 9) players will help get them ready to be drafted into the OHL as midget-aged (Grade 10) players.

“It’s a process that will take some time but the potential for a hockey academy in Sault Ste. Marie really, truly has no limits,” Lambert said evenly. “I am so excited to be a part of this as we move forward from the ground up.”

Al Tucci, director of education and training for The Tech, is a big fan of what Lambert brings to the table.

“These are attributes we are looking for,” Tucci began. “Denny brings to The Tech the types of personal qualities, experience and leadership that many of our student-athletes will have once moving on to the next level of academics or athletics.”

PHOTO: Denny Lambert, during his OHL coaching days with the Soo Greyhounds.

What you think about “Lambert to lead Tech hockey program”

  1. How awesome is that for hockey in Sault Ste. Marie!!! With everything else that is going on with minor hockey this is a bright spot for all.

    Denny is the best. He is there for all the right reasons!! We need more people like him in hockey!!

    Congrats Denny!!!

  2. hey that’s great nice guy, I’m sure TECH knows what there doing hope everything works out…good luck Denny

  3. Worked side by side with Denny with the Batchewana Attack, never met a coach so dedicated to the kids and the game of hockey as I did with Denny. All he cared about was the development of the kids and there progress as hockey players and as young men. Denny was never too busy for a chat with management or the players. Never expected respect, he demanded it and got it from every player as well as every member of the coaching staff. Great hire by the Tech and Tbirds, wish Denny nothing but the best and a prosperous career with the Tech program. Best of luck buddy. John Palmerio

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