The Arizona Coyotes were shocked by how quickly Jakob Chychrun recovered year, as the then-19 year old defenseman made his return to the lineup just three months after undergoing knee surgery in August. This time they won’t be so surprised. Chychrun, who suffered another brutal knee injury at the very end of the season, is expected to be ready for training camp in September with the Coyotes according to Craig Morgan of AZ Sports. His remarkable ability to rehab doesn’t faze GM John Chayka at this point, who said that Chychrun is “just one of those guys who just recovers on his own schedule.”
That’s big news for the Coyotes, who are looking to ride a late-season surge last season all the way to the playoffs in 2018-19. After acquiring several players including Derek Stepan, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Antti Raanta last summer, Chayka was busy again in bringing in Alex Galchenyuk, Michael Grabner and Marcus Kruger to round out the lineup. All eyes though will be on the young core of Chychrun, Clayton Keller and Dylan Strome, who are the key to getting the Coyotes back to long-term respectability.
- The New York Islanders have shocked no one by hiring Lane Lambert as an assistant coach, reuniting him with Barry Trotz behind the bench. Lambert has worked alongside Trotz for the last seven seasons, prior to which he worked as the head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals implementing the same system Trotz was using while with the Nashville Predators. The two are almost inseparable at this point, and now face the task of returning the Islanders to success in 2018-19.
- As many have expected, the Columbus Blue Jackets have named former NHL goaltender Manny Legace as their new goaltending coach, promoting him from a similar position with their minor league affiliates. Legace, known as an incredibly consistent backup goalie during his playing career, is now an extremely well-regarded coach that was destined for the NHL ranks. He’ll get to work with two-time Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky in his first season in Columbus, but will likely focus more on preparing Joonas Korpisalo for the starting role should the team not be able to reach a contract extension with the former. Bobrovsky is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and could command a deal like Carey Price’s eight-year $84MM extension.