GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes backup goaltender Anders Lindback suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon in warm-ups before Monday’s game against Montreal, general manager Don Maloney said Tuesday. Lindback will have more tests but it appears he will require surgery.
“I think it’s fair to say that he’ll be, for all intents and purposes, finished for the regular season,” Maloney said.
Maloney said Lindback was stretching and then got up to go to the locker room to put on his equipment when he suffered the injury.
“It wasn’t kicking a soccer ball or anything like that,” Maloney said. “It was just one of those freak things that happens.”
To fill his roster spot, the Coyotes recalled Niklas Treutle from Springfield of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. He is expected to report Wednesday and will serve as Louis Domingue’s backup.
Treutle, 24, has a 9-11-5 record with a .909 save percentage and 2.91 goals against average in 26 games with the Falcons.
“He’s been solid and he’s probably played more than anticipated with Louis getting called up here,” coach Dave Tippett said. “He works awful hard. He impressed players at camp with his work ethic. He’s learned the North American game down there so if we had to use him we could use him.”
Maloney reiterated that the Coyotes do not expect Mike Smith back before early March as he rehabs from lower abdomen surgery in mid-December.
The injury comes at a critical time in Lindback’s career. He will be a free agent when the season ends and the Coyotes will not re-sign him. At 27, Lindback is still young enough to draw interest if he heals by next season, but he has been with four teams the past four seasons (five in his seven NHL seasons) and his numbers in four of the past five seasons have been poor.
Maloney noted that Coyotes minor-league defenseman Dylan Reese suffered a similar injury in August and just returned this week, making his recovery time about six months.
“This is a significant injury and it’s going to take time to heal,” Maloney said. “I’m sure he’s looing at his future and wondering what’s in store.”
TRADE DEADLINE TALK
Maloney was asked what approach the Coyotes would take at the Feb. 29 trade deadline. His answer, he said, would depend on what the Coyotes did in the stretch of seven games that precedes the deadline and includes Dallas (second in the NHL standings), St. Louis (fourth), Washington (first), Tampa (12th), Florida (fifth), Pittsburgh (13th) and Philadelphia (20th).
“If we can keep our head above water we would like to support the group a little bit more,” he said. “There’s not going to be a max exodus like last year, at all. We’re going to stay competitive all the way through. If there’s something there to help us be a little bit more competitive we’ll certainly look at it, but it’s not going to be at the cost of key assets or young players or young playing time.”
Emergency goaltender Nathan Schoenfeld was back with the team on Tuesday for practice while it awaits Treutle’s arrival. Schoenfeld said he went to work at his bank on Tuesday morning and got a warm reception from those who had seen the news. The staff also watched highlights of a story that played across the United States and Canada.
Schoenfeld was asked about his relationship with father-in-law Stan Wilson, who is the Coyotes’ equipment manager, and he provided this terrific anecdote.
“The first date my wife (Colby) and I had was to a Coyotes preseason game,” Schoenfeld said. There were about 2,000 people here and somehow we ended up on the kiss cam. I can see Stan turning around.”
Domingue said Schoenfeld fared well in practice. Maloney joked about keeping him around in a goalie rotation.
“He fills up a lot of the net, that Schoenfeld kid. And if anybody needs any personal banking I’m sure he’ll help us out,” Maloney said.
Maloney said prospect Nick Merkley suffered a knee injury and will miss significant time. Merkley was the Coyotes’ second, first-round pick last season (30th overall); a pick acquired from Chicago along with defenseman Klas Dahlbeck for center Antoine Vermette.
Merkley, a forward, had 17 goals and 48 points in 43 games with Kelowna of the Western Hockey League.
— Captain Shane Doan missed Tuesday’s practice but Tippett said it was just a maintenance day.
— Former Red Wing great Nicklas Lidström has been seen around Gila River Arena lately. Tippett said it is likely because he is scouting Oliver Ekman-Larsson for the World Cup in September in Toronto. Lidström is on the advisory board for Team Sweden.