Most recently serving as the bench boss in Spokane for the Western Hockey League’s Chiefs, Lambert will now switch his focus to help Preds’ Head Coach Peter Laviolette turn around a struggling Nashville team that was unable to find postseason success in back-to-back seasons following a Cup Final appearance in 2016-17.
The 49-year-old will look to provide his expertise and special teams knowledge to a Predators’ power play that failed to score a single goal on 23 opportunities leading up to and carrying through the 2019 postseason. Nashville – despite boasting a boatload of offensive firepower – held a league-worst 12.9 power play percentage this past season. Lambert’s Chiefs held the WHL’s best power play during the 2018-19 regular season (29%), and operated at an even better 36% in the playoffs.
Lambert, 49, is a former draft pick of the Quebec Nordiques, who spent four seasons with Swift Current in the WHL, collecting 75 goals and 319 points in just 244 games in the league. After a stellar Memorial Cup MVP performance in 1989, Lambert bounced around many professional North American leagues, before taking his talents overseas. He finished his hockey playing career with 10 seasons in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, most recently serving as the captain of the Hannover Scorpions.
Following his playing career, the St. Boniface product began coaching, where he did five seasons as an assistant in Kelowna with the Rockets, before a one-year stint as assistant in Buffalo with the Sabres. Lambert then coached the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans for one season, before accepting the role as Head Coach in Spokane, moving back to the WHL. Since arriving, Lambert has led the Chiefs to an 81-46-13 all-time record, while guiding Spokane to its deepest playoff run since 2011 in the 2018-19 season.
“Our whole organization is proud of this opportunity for Dan and excited that another Chief will be coaching in the NHL next season,” said Spokane General Manager Scott Carter in a media release. “In his two years with us, he did an extremely good job on the ice and was an even better person off it. While he had just agreed on a new two-year deal, our organization believes in developing both players and staff. We were not going to hold Dan back from this opportunity. We wish him great success moving forward.”
Along with the Lambert hiring, Nashville also announced that Rob Scuderi, Sebastien Bordeleau and Dave Rook have also been given player development positions with the team.