The Phoenix Coyotes assigned defensemen Chris Summers and Maxim Goncharov, and forward Marc-Antoine Pouliot to the Portland Pirates.

In a related move, the Pirates released forward Mike Hoffman from his professional tryout contract.

Portland Coach Ray Edwards said he is unsure whether the assignments are permanent.

“They will all be in the lineup for this weekend’s games,” Edwards said.

“The NHL break is for five days, and this will give them a chance to play a couple of games. After this weekend, who knows what will happen.”

Summers, selected by Phoenix in the first round of the 2006 entry draft, has played in nine games with the Coyotes, collecting three assists.

He also has two assists in 26 games with the Pirates, who are in their first season as the Coyote’s AHL affiliate.

In 35 games with the Pirates, Goncharov, 22, has one goal and three assists. He has been called up twice by the Coyotes this season but has not played an NHL game.

Pouliot has recorded two assists in nine games with the Coyotes. In 25 games with the Pirates, he has four goals and 12 assists.

Their arrival brought the number of players on the Portland roster to 31.

Forwards Colin Long, Mathieu Beaulieu and Spencer Bennett are recovering from long-term injuries and goalie Curtis McElhinney remains sidelined with a groin injury.

Goncharov and veteran defenseman Dean Arsene still have one game left to serve on suspensions.

That left Edwards with 24 players to work into the lineup for Friday night’s game against the Springfield Falcons at the Cumberland County Civic Center, prompting Hoffman’s release from his PTO.

“That doesn’t mean there won’t be an opportunity for him here down the road,” Edwards said. “We’ve got a lot of people around here, and we’ve got guys who have to play.”

In 13 games with the Pirates, Hoffman had two assists and 32 penalty minutes.

After Friday’s game, the Pirates play host to the St. John’s IceCaps on Saturday. The Pirates beat the IceCaps 5-2 last Saturday.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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Twitter: PaulBetitPPH