Milwaukee coaches get contract extensions

mil_200.jpgNashville Predators president of hockey operations/general manager David Poile announced today that the club has agreed to contract extensions with Milwaukee Admirals head coach Lane Lambert and Admirals assistant coach Brad Lauer. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

In two seasons at the helm of the Admirals’ ship, Lambert has accumulated a 93-51-3-13 record and 202 points, the second-most points by a Milwaukee head coach in his first two years in franchise history. During the 2008-09 regular season he led the Admirals to the West Division title with a 49-22-3-6 mark and 107 points, which was tied for the most points in the entire league, and the 15-point differential between the Ads and second-place Peoria was the most in the AHL since 2003.

This season the Admirals also became the first franchise in American Hockey League history to post six consecutive seasons of 90 or more points and 40 or more wins.

Under Lambert’s tutelage, the Admirals have seen 11 players suit up for both the Admirals and the Predators — including Cal O’Reilly, Mike Santorelli, Ryan Jones, Patric Hornqvist, Antti Pihlstrom, Alexander Sulzer and Jed Ortmeyer — this season.

Prior to taking over the reigns of the team, the Melfort, Sask., native spent a season as an Admirals assistant coach. He also served as an assistant for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2005-06 and was the head coach of the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League in 2004-05. Lambert spent 18 seasons as a player and finished his career with 58 goals and 67 assists for 125 points and 521 penalty minutes in 283 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, and Quebec Nordiques.

Lauer is in his second season with the Admirals as Lambert’s top assistant. The Humboldt, Sask., native is in charge of running the team’s penalty killing unit, which for the first time in franchise history led the league, vanquishing 87 percent of opponent power plays. Lauer also heads up the team’s defensive corps, which allowed just 195 goals on the year, the second fewest goals against in the AHL.

Lauer comes to the Admirals after five successful seasons as an assistant coach for the Kootenay Ice of the WHL. In those five campaigns with the Ice the team picked up over 100 points twice and they won 40 games during three campaigns. The New York Islanders’ second-round pick in the 1985 draft, Lauer completed a 16-year playing career after the 2001-02 season. In that time he posted 111 points on 44 goals and 67 assists in 323 career NHL games with the Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, and Pittsburgh Penguins.