Nashville, Tenn. (June 4, 2019) - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Tuesday that the team has hired Dan Lambert (lam-BAIR) as an assistant coach.
"Dan is an experienced, passionate coach and will nicely round out our coaching staff in 2019-20 and beyond," Poile said. "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 (1/12/70), joins the Predators organization after spending two seasons as head coach of the WHL's Spokane Chiefs. In 2018-19, he led the Chiefs to a 40-21-2-5 record en route to the WHL's Western Conference Final, the team's longest playoff run since 2011. He amassed an 81-46-5-8 record during his two seasons in Spokane and his teams were among the best offensively in the WHL, finishing third in 2018-19 and sixth in 2017-18 in goals scored. Under his guidance, Spokane's power play led the WHL last season, operating at 29.1 percent (81-for-278), the second-highest across the entire CHL and the WHL's sixth-highest in the last 10 seasons. In Spokane's 15 playoff games last season, the Chiefs went 13-for-36 on the power play (36.1 percent) to lead the WHL.
He also brings NHL coaching experience to the Predators bench, having served one season as an assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabres in 2015-16. Following his time in Buffalo he spent the 2016-17 campaign as head coach of the AHL's Rochester Americans, where he helped nine players establish AHL career highs in points.
"Dan is incredibly passionate about the game of hockey and has had success offensively and on the power play during his time as a coach," Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We are very confident he is coming to our organization with the intention of making a strong, positive impact on our group."
Prior to his stops in Buffalo and Rochester, Lambert spent six seasons with the WHL's Kelowna Rockets, serving five as an assistant (2009-14) and one as head coach (2014-15). During his lone season at the helm of the Rockets, he led the team to the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions and a spot in the Memorial Cup, where they fell in the championship game to the OHL's Oshawa Generals. Kelowna recorded 112 points - the second-most in team history - with Lambert as head coach, and in his six total seasons with the club the Rockets were one of the WHL's most dominant squads, reaching the Western Conference Final five times. He coached Preds forward Colton Sissons in Kelowna from 2010-13, helping him set career highs in goals in each of his three seasons.
Internationally, the Saint Boniface, Man., native coached Preds defenseman Dante Fabbro and Team Canada Red to a silver medal at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
"I'm thrilled and very excited to be joining the Nashville Predators and want to thank the organization and David Poile for giving me this opportunity," Lambert said. "Getting the opportunity to work with the players, coaches and hockey operations staff that Nashville has is something I'm really looking forward to. Home games in Nashville have such an amazing, energetic atmosphere and my family and I are so excited for the chance to be a part of that."
As a player, the 5-foot-9 defenseman enjoyed a professional career that spanned 19 seasons from 1990-2009. Selected in the sixth round (106th overall) by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1989 NHL Draft, Lambert appeared in 29 NHL contests, tallying six goals and 15 points. He had stints in the AHL, IHL and Finland before closing out his playing career in Germany, spending 10 seasons in the country's first division with four different squads. He won the Spengler Cup with Cologne in 1999 and the German league championship with Krefeld in 2003.
Before making his NHL debut in 1990 with Quebec, Lambert played four seasons for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos, captaining the team in his final two campaigns and leading them to the 1989 Memorial Cup. He tallied 102 points (25g-77a) in 57 games with Swift Current in 1988-89, and in addition to being named Memorial Cup MVP, was selected as the WHL's top defenseman. He left the Broncos as the franchise's all-time leader in assists with 244.
Lambert and his wife, Melanie, have three daughters: Melissa, Julia and Brooke.