35-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Matthew Lombardi Contract Information:
Signed with European team Geneve-Servette-NLA (Switzerland) in October of 2014.
Lombardi was placed on unconditional waivers Friday for the purpose of his release, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Matthew Lombardi.
Originally Calgary's third-round pick in the 2002 draft, the last NHL team Lombardi dressed for was Anaheim in 2012-13. Coming off a solid 50-point campaign with Genève-Servette HC of the NLA in Switzerland, a gaping hole down the middle of the team's depth chart leaves the veteran center with a fairly decent chance at making the opening night squad. While his 262 points in 532 career NHL games is nothing to shake a stick at, he’s not likely to yield results in many league formats.
Lombardi picked up four goals and four assists during his 28 games in 2012-2013, but all of those came when he was in Phoenix. He struggled to find a fit in the Ducks' system after arriving in a trade and found himself a healthy scratch as he learned the ropes. Will things change in 2013-14? Probably -- he's too fast and too talented to be this bad. But avoid him on draft day and wait until you see if he can fit with coach Bruce Boudreau before grabbing him off the wire.
Injury took this lightning-fast, two-way forward's career off the rails at the start of the 2010-11 season and, while he's back in action, he's never entirely recovered. His speed is still superb, but he's relegated to a fourth-line role in Toronto -- that sure won't earn him enough playing time to make a fantasy dent.
Lombardi is a superb skater -- fast, effortless and agile. And he has nifty hands and a playmaker’s vision. Sadly, he sat out almost all of last season after suffering a concussion in Game 2. We’ve heard reports that he’s still a little unwell; we’ve also heard reports he’s on track for camp. And if it’s the latter -- and he’s healthy -- he could prove to be a real fantasy sleeper, particularly with his skill set. He delivered career numbers in the desert skating beside sniper Shane Doan so look out if he ever gets a shot with Phil Kessel, who saw his best performances beside another left-shooting, currently-concussed playmaker named Marc Savard. Put him on that little list on the right side of your draft list and be prepared to make a late move if he shows well at camp. He’s way more than the third-line center he may start as.
Lombardi scored a career-high 53 points in 78 games for the Coyotes before signing with the Preds in the offseason to a three-year, $10.5 million contract. Lombardi is expected to center the top line for the Preds next season, a position left vacant when Jason Arnott was traded to the New Jersey Devils just weeks before. Lombardi has always projected more like a #2 or #3 center, but assuming he clicks well with his new linemates, he could shine in his new environment and improve on last year's numbers. He's a possible sleeper candidate.
Coyotes general manager Don Maloney appears to have done well given the circumstances of the Olli Jokinen trade. The biggest prize in the deal was Lombardi, who had a breakout season in 2007-08, and continued his growth with 46 points in 69 games last year. In his 19 games with Phoenix after the trade, Lombardi scored five goals and chipped in 11 assists. Centering a line with Shane Doan to his left is all the more reason for continued optimism about Lombardi. At a position as deep as center, Lombardi is a second-tier guy with point-per-game potential who could very well make the leap forward in 2009-2010.
Lombardi has been a bit of an enigma since joining the Flames in 2006-07. The center has shown great speed and a knack for finding the net, but never on a consistent basis. His point total dropped 10 points to 36 last season, but likely will captain the second line this year. Keep an eye on him, as he may make a good waiver wire pickup during the season.
Lombardi quietly had a pretty good season last year, notching 20 goals and 26 assists in 81 games. Despite his captaining of the third line in Calgary, Lombardi could still be an asset in deeper leagues. Expect another 45-50 points out of him if he stays healthy.
The Flames will look for more from Lombardi in 2006-07, as injuries and inconsistency hampered a him into only 26 points last season. Although he will likely begin the season centering the third line, Lombardi has the potential to get 40 or 50 points.
After taking a Derian Hatcher vicious elbow to the head in the 2003/04 Playoffs, Lombardi spent 11 months recovering from post-concussion symptoms. He was only able to play nine games with Lowell (AHL) in 2004/05, registering three goals and an assist. Lombardi was used in key situations for the Flames in 2003/04 season, power play, penalty killing and late in the game. He could fly under the radar and have a productive season with the right line combination.