After signing Tim Connolly to a two year deal yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leaf staff continues to make positive adjustment to their lineup. This time they made a four player trade with the Nashville Predators, as Toronto sent Brett Lebda and forward Robert Slanley to the Predators in exchange for center man Matthew Lombardi and young defenseman Cody Franson.
The Predators will also get a conditional fourth round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft if Lombardi plays 60 or more games over the next two seasons. If he doesn’t, Toronto will receive Nashville’s fourth rounder in the same 2013 draft.
The Maple Leafs are getting two quality role players. In Franson the Leafs have a tall 6’ 5” 23 year old stud, who has played 141 NHL games and recorded 14 goals and 36 assist for 50 points. Franson can be used for the power play and penalty kill. Between trading for John Michael Liles and Franson, in my opinion this makes up more than enough for trading away Tomas Kaberle. In Lombardi the Leafs have an excellent role player who can win face-offs. All though concussion problem took the 2010/11 season away from Lombardi, as he only played two games.
With this trade it is hard to see the need for Brian Burke to resign Maple Leaf center Tyler Bozak, who is an RFA. But all in all, Maple Leaf fans should be proud of our two new additions to the team.