Preds Sign Center Matthew Lombardi to 3-Year Deal
Friday, 07.2.2010 / 7:06 PM CT / News
By Press Release - Nashville Predators
|Lombardi fills the void created when the Preds traded Jason Arnott to New Jersey, however Lombardi at 28 years old is seven years younger than Arnott and should be just entering the prime seasons of his career.
Lombardi’s speed and solid attention to defensive responsibilities should mesh well with the system Barry Trotz and staff like to run. He was second on the Phoenix Coyotes in both goals and points last season, while contributing to both the power-play and penalty kill units. In his six NHL seasons, Lombardi has 11 career shorthanded goals, including four in ’06-07 when he tied for fifth in the league in the category.
The addition of Lombardi – along with the recent trades for Matt Halischuk and Sergei Kostitsyn – gives Nashville significant flexibility among its forwards next season. Nashville has 16 forwards under contract who played at least 20 games in the NHL last season, not including restricted free agents Patric Hornqvist (80 games, 30 goals) and Mike Santorelli (25 games), who are both projected to be signed well in advance of training camp. Nor does it include veteran European free agent Jonas Andersson, who was signed yesterday.
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-- Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
Lombardi, 28 (3/18/82), ranked second on the Phoenix Coyotes in both points and assists with career-highs in each category (19g-34a-53pts) in 2009-10, then paced the team in points during the 2010 playoffs (1g-5a-6pts, 7gp). The 5-11, 195-pound center has posted between 14 and 20 goals for the Coyotes and Calgary Flames in each of the past four seasons, averaging 45 points per campaign in the process. In 441 NHL contests since 2003, he has amassed 236 points (89g-147a). Lombardi has appeared in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in five of his six NHL seasons, most notably posting six points (1g-5a) in 13 games in helping Calgary to Game Seven of the 2004 Cup Finals.
Drafted 215th overall (seventh round) by Edmonton in the 2000 Entry Draft, then 90th overall (third round) by Calgary when he re-entered the draft in 2002, Lombardi has represented Canada at the World Championships on two occasions, ranking fourth the tournament in scoring (6g-6a-12pts, 9gp) en route to a gold medal at the 2007 tournament, and earning silver in 2009. The four-year Victoriaville Tigres from 1998-2002 posting 257 points (109g-148a) in 250 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games, helping the team reach the finals of the 2002 Memorial Cup. Named to the Memorial Cup All-Star Team, Lombardi put up a tournament-high nine points (2g-7a) in six games.