It is by far that Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs won the trade between them and the Nashville Predators. A trade that included the Maple Leafs acquiring injured Matthew Lombardi and youngster Cody Franson, who was the prize of the deal, in exchanged for farm player Robert Slaney and defenseman Brett Lebda. Today I want to talk a little about Lombardi. This 29 year old motivated player, came out after being traded to the Maple Leafs by saying his hopes is the be ready for the regular season, but things have changed in the last week. “It’s too soon to tell,” Burke told Sun Media. “As we always do with head injuries, we’ll err on the side of caution.” This means that Lombardi will not be participating in any physical activity until there is 100% certainty that he has recovered from his concussion that happened on October 13th 2010. Keeping Lombardi out of the line up means that Tyler Bozak will get settled into his 3rd line role. But it also means that once Lombardi returns to regular season play, the Leafs will have more depth down the middle, something that has been lacking since Mats Sundin left. This depth is also accredited to the addition of free agent Tim Connolly.
Lombardi best season was back in 2009/10 with the Phoenix Coyotes, where he recorded 19 goals and 53 points, along with a +8, over a span of 78 games. Going over these stats tells me that Lombardi (once healed) hopefully can be a productive depth center-man again.