Coyotes general manager Don Maloney spoke on the NHL Network on Sirius XM on Friday and provided some notable updates on the team’s injury situation just four games into the season.
Maloney, in talking about the Coyotes’ offseason moves that included the reacquisition of center Matthew Lombardi, said Lombardi was injured in Thursday night’s loss to the Sharks and “may be out for a significant amount of time.” He did not provide any additional details as to the extent or specifics of the injury, but a news release from the team said Lombardi suffered an upper-body injury and will be out “indefinitely.”
Lombardi had two assists in the first four games after returning to the Coyotes organization just days before the start of the season in a trade with the Maple Leafs. He had 18 points last season for Toronto in his return to the lineup from a neck injury that cost him all but two games of the 2010-11 season.
Maloney also touched on the unspecified injury to goalie Mike Smith, who left early in Wednesday night’s win over the Blue Jackets. The Coyotes called up goalie Chad Johnson from Portland before Thursday night’s game on an emergency basis, and Maloney didn’t deny the speculation that Smith has a lingering groin issue.
“It’s really just a day-to-day, nagging injury,” Maloney said. “You can probably guess. We don’t get too specific on it, but it happened in warmups — he had a little pull. We’re optimistic he’ll be back sooner rather than later, obviously. He’s such an important player for us. We need him back up to speed.
“It’s really a day-to-day thing. I don’t anticipate it being very long.”
Regarding Smith’s long-term outlook, Maloney added that he is waiting for the Coyotes’ ownership situation to be resolved before continuing negotiations on a new contract for the 30-year-old, who will be a free agent after the season.