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At the Rink blog

Predators start trip without assistant coach Lambert

Thursday, 01.23.2014 / 5:04 PM

By Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Predators start trip without assistant coach Lambert

VANCOUVER -- The Nashville Predators announced Thursday that assistant coach Lane Lambert didn't accompany the team on its four-game road trip through Western Canada so he could stay in Nashville with his wife, Andi, while she undergoes chemotherapy treatment.

"If you know anything about Lane, you know he is a fantastic young coach, very detailed, passionate, and I am going to miss him on the bench," coach Barry Trotz said. "His wife and him have been absolute rocks with the stuff they have been going through."

Trotz said it was his decision to leave Lambert home.

"He would be here and his wife would want him here," Trotz said. "I made the decision more than him."

Lambert, 48, is in his third season with the Predators after spending the previous four with their American Hockey League affiliate in Milwaukee. His responsibilities, which include running the forwards and directing the penalty kill, will be assumed temporarily by Scott Nichol, the Predators director of player development, though Trotz said Lambert will stay involved with video and over the phone.

"We've got it covered but Lane is pulling a lot of the strings," he said. "We want to keep him involved but it was very important for him to be there. Our organization and ownership and management and staff, we are a family, and for me it was making the right decision."

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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp