Welcome Back Lombo! - Christian Petersen
In a year that already saw the return of defenseman Zbynek Michalek from the Pittsburgh Penguins, GM Don Maloney brought back another familiar face, reacquiring Matthew Lombardi from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The rumors have been swirling the past few days (and were confirmed by GMDM) that the Phoenix Coyotes were looking to add some help up front. Although many fans thought the team might make a run at a high prized scoring threat that would cost the team some of its defensive depth, Maloney once again showed some impressive savvy in reacquiring Matthew Lombardi from Toronto in exchange for a fourth round draft pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft. Yes, you read that correctly, GMDM landed Lombardi for a 4th round pick next year.
Lombardi had a career year with the Coyotes in the 2009-10 campaign with the Coyotes registering 19 goals, 34 assists and 53 points in 78 games. This quote from Maloney says it well:
We are very pleased to bring a player like Matthew back to our team. Matthew is a very strong skater who will add quickness and skill to our lineup. He is an intelligent center who will be a great addition to our team and provides us with added depth at the center position.
The Coyotes now have Antoine Vermette, Martin Hanzal, Lombardi, and Boyd Gordon down the middle. It may not be the flashiest group in the league, but it is a solid core with strong defensive skills that all play well within Dave Tippett's system.