The Washington Capitals have finalized their coaching staff under Barry Trotz, announcing the hiring of Lane Lambert as the third assistant coach on Friday.
Lambert, who comes to Washington after three seasons with Trotz in Nashville, is expected to work with the forwards and penalty kill. General manager Brian MacLellan confirmed Thursday that Blaine Forsythe would be retained in an unspecified, albeit slightly tweaked, role, making him the only member of Washington’s coaching staff from 2013-14 to return under the new regime. Goaltending coach Olie Kolzig and assistant Calle Johansson both stepped down for family reasons, though Kolzig is expected to remain with the organization in a part-time teaching and scouting role.
The news of Lambert’s expected hire broke Thursday. The most likely situation has Forsythe surrendering his role with the forwards to Lambert while continuing to operate the power play. Former Pittsburgh assistant Todd Reirden, who also worked with the power play with the Penguins, will handle the defensemen. Mitch Korn, a right-hand man for 15 seasons under Trotz, will coach the goalies.
Lambert also comes with AHL head coaching experience, guiding the Milwaukee Admirals from 2007-11 before being promoted to Trotz’s staff in Nashville. The 49-year-old is a former second-round draft pick by the Detroit Red Wings in 1983 and logged 521 penalty minutes in 283 games over six NHL seasons.
Shortly before Washington’s announcement, Nashville general manager David Poile released a statement offering permission for Lambert to speak with the Capitals. The news release followed soon after.
“Recognizing that this is a great opportunity for his career, we have given the Washington Capitals permission to speak with Lane Lambert about joining their coaching staff,” Poile said, via PR director Kevin Wilson. “We appreciate all of Lane’s contributions to our organization, from his time helping in the development of our prospects and leading the Milwaukee Admirals to six consecutive playoff berths from 2001, to his three seasons in Nashville from 2011-14. We wish him well and his family all the best as they move onto the next chapter in their lives.”
MacLellan and his staff are currently in Philadelphia, where the first round of the 2014 NHL draft begins at 7 p.m. on Friday.