May 31: The wait seems inconsequential, as Brunette has been officially announced as the Predators’ new head coach.
May 30: The Nashville Predators have confirmed at least part of their widely reported coaching change, officially announcing that head coach John Hynes has been relieved of his duties with one year remaining on his contract. The team also announced that assistant coach Dan Lambert, who also had a one-year tenure left on his deal, will not be returning.
Somewhat interestingly, the team did not confirm today’s earlier reports that New Jersey Devils assistant coach Andrew Brunette was set to take over as Hynes’ replacement. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun now expects the official announcement to come tomorrow morning.
Lambert worked with the Predators’ forward group and power-play units for four seasons from 2019 to 2023. During Lambert’s tenure, the team achieved a power-play success rate of 19.5 percent, including a franchise record of 24.4 percent in the 2021-22 season. Incoming general manager Barry Trotz commended Lambert as a quality power-play coach and thanked him for his contributions, particularly during a season marked by roster changes.
Trotz also released an official statement on Hynes, who was fired after recording the second-highest point percentage by a head coach in franchise history:
John Hynes is a good man and a good hockey coach. He did an outstanding job after the trade deadline with our team, especially with our young players, and he is a well-prepared, hard-working coach who will continue to grow in the NHL. After our year-end meetings and some additional evaluation, it was time to change the voice and time to go in a different direction. On behalf of all of us at the Predators, we’d like to thank John for all his work here and wish him and his family all the best moving forward.
Team president and CEO John Henry also released a statement, thanking Hynes and Lambert for their work during a difficult time off-ice for the team and the city of Nashville.
I’d like to thank John, Dan and their families for all they did for the Predators and our community. We appreciate all their work during their respective tenures with us, helping our team push through so many difficulties that hit us all in 2020 – from the tornadoes to the pandemic and the Christmas morning explosion, they always had our team ready to serve the community. John and Dan also guided us to three playoff appearances and additionally ensured our team represented Smashville well in the 2022 NHL Stadium Series and in Bern and Prague in the 2023 NHL Global Series. We will always be grateful for their contributions.