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We have a trade to announce: Leafs send Lombardi back to Coyotes

Jan 16, 2013, 8:24 PM EDT

Matthew Lombardi, Robert Lang, Ian Laperriere AP

Some players just make sense in the desert.

The Phoenix Coyotes re-acquired center Matthew Lombardi via a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports. In exchange, the Buds gain a conditional draft pick while retaining some of Lombardi’s $3.5 million pro-rated salary.

The specifics about the amount of salary retained are unclear, but the Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle reports that the pick is currently a 2014 fourth-rounder (which can improve if Lombardi hits certain benchmarks).

In the grand scheme of things, the trade opens things up for the Leafs. This could improve Nazem Kadri‘s odds of sticking with the big club while removing an injury-riddled player from the mix.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes add the center they were looking for – and a familiar one in that. GM Don Maloney hasn’t been shy about seeking reunions, bringing back the likes of Radim Vrbata, Derek Morris and Zbynek Michalek in recent years.

Lombardi put up career-bests in Phoenix during the 2009-10 season, scoring 19 goals and 53 points. That made him a hot free agent target in the summer of 2010, but injuries and inconsistency ruined his past two seasons. That was especially true with Nashville in 2010-11; concussions limited him to a pointless two-game stint.

He played in 62 games with Toronto last season, so perhaps he can make the best of things in the final year of his deal with Phoenix. Things went well in his last contract year, after all.

  1. spongebobsportspants - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Uhhh, you think they’re making room for… Uhh, I don’t even want to say his name.

  2. youcallthathockeyblog - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    A good trade. Log jam for checking line spots in Toronto. With Phoenix he plays a bigger role that he wouldn’t get a chance at in TO. Decent player. Speed to burn. My guess….7 goals 12 assists for 19 points.

    • 19to77 - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      That’s a pretty dismal total for anyone not on the fourth line, dude. Better hope he’s a lot more useful than that.

      • colby7 - Jan 16, 2013 at 10:40 PM

        You know its a short season right?

  3. killerpgh - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Burke was pushing for teams to take on salary with a trade. I wonder how much he had to do with this trade.

  4. broadstbully33 - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Terrible trade on toronto a part they retain cap and get a 4th round pick???

    • 19to77 - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      Uh, what? They get most of his useless cap hit back this year and clear up their abundance of underperforming bottom-six forwards. This is a good move for them. After all, his replacement might actually play well out there instead.

  5. bruinpred - Jan 16, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    The final result of the “steal” Burke pulled on Poile.

  6. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    Coyotes are the best in the league at getting value out of low-risk acquisitions. I’m expecting 10+ goals out of Lombardi. Solid addition.

  7. thailer35 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Pumped about this trade! Lombardi is exactly the guy we need in Phoenix to give us a boost at center! With Vermette, Hanzal, Lombardi, and either Gordon or Bolduc (who was an animal at the intrasquad scrimmage last night), Phoenix is looking pretty good down the middle.

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