The Nashville Predators have hired Dan Lambert as an assistant coach, adding him to Peter Laviolette’s group for the 2019-20 season. Lambert spent the last two seasons as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, where he amassed a record of 81-46-13. Predators GM David Poile had this to say about his new coach:
Dan is an experienced, passionate coach and will nicely round out our coaching staff in 2019-20 and beyond. Having enjoyed a lengthy career as a player and now a coach, he has had success at every level running the power play, and we look forward to adding his knowledge and insight in this area to the organization.
Lambert, 49, was named to the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence last month and was set to serve as head coach for the 2019 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. It’s not clear if he’ll still take on that role, but it goes to show just how he is perceived as an up-and-coming coach in the hockey world. Finishing a long professional career in 2009, he jumped right onto the bench of the Kelowna Rockets as an assistant, only to take over as head coach a few years later and win a WHL Championship. He jumped to the NHL after that with the Buffalo Sabres, and took over as head coach of the Rochester Americans of the AHL in 2016-17.
As a player, Lambert put up huge point totals in his career including a 102-point season in the WHL and an 87-point season in the IHL. As a coach with the Rockets, he helped develop NHL defensemen like Damon Severson, Madison Bowey, Josh Morrissey, and Tyson Barrie. That’s the exact type of development he’ll likely be asked to accomplish in Nashville, where the team already has an incredible defense corps but also a player like Dante Fabbro who the organization expects big things of. Lambert is also known as a powerplay specialist, something the Predators have struggled with for some time.