Lane Lambert, a former Nashville assistant under Barry Trotz, is expected to join the Washington Capitals to work with the forwards and penalty kill, an individual with knowledge of the situation confirmed Thursday afternoon.
After Nashville dismissed Trotz following the 2013-14 season and later hired Peter Laviolette, who soon began hiring his own coaching staff, it seemed like Lambert’s time too was running out, despite being under contract for 2014-15. But he appears to have found a new home in Washington, following Trotz and goaltending coach Mitch Korn, both of whom were with the Predators for all 15 seasons in franchise history.
According to a league source, current Capitals assistant Blaine Forsythe is expected to be welcomed back for a ninth season with the organization. He had previously worked with the forwards, the same role Lambert served, as well as the power play. That would give the Capitals three assistants under Trotz — Forsythe, Lambert and Todd Reirden — as well as Korn handling the netminders.
Forsythe’s revised role with the Capitals is currently being finalized. He joined the Capitals as a video coach in 2006-07 and was later promoted to amateur scout before moving to the bench, where he coached the forwards and power play. Even alongside Reirden, the former Pittsburgh Penguins assistant who replaced Calle Johansson in coaching the Capitals defensemen and also worked with the power play at his previous stop, Forsythe could still keep directing Washington’s power play, while forwards duties transition to Lambert. Last season, the Capitals led the NHL with 68 goals in man-up situations.
General manager Brian MacLellan is expected to be made available to the media following the completion of the first round at Friday’s NHL draft in Philadelphia, so at the very latest we’ll know more then.
The former NHL forward — he once fought former Capitals GM George McPhee twice in one game — and AHL head coach with Milwaukee joined Nashville in June 2011 and was a trusted assistant under Trotz for several seasons. Recently, Lambert’s wife underwent chemotherapy treatment while battling cancer that led to Lambert missing a road trip and the following quote from Trotz, who has long maintained that Lambert will become a head coach some day. Via the Tennessean:
He is a fantastic young coach. Detailed and passionate. I’m going to miss him on the bench. He and his wife have been just rocks with some of the stuff they’ve been going through, but I made the decision more than him. He would be here and his wife would want him here. I always try to live by ‘do the right thing.’ I had to make that decision.