What to do with Matt Lombardi

Cam Charron
July 27 2012 10:27AM

In reading Steve's post yesterday, I came away thinking, "oh, right, Matt Lombardi is another natural centreman that the team doesn't really have a use for".

I thought the original trade for Lombardi, which also brought Cody Franson to the Maple Leafs while getting rid of Brett Lebda, worked out. You take on two years of salary in exchange for a promising young defenceman. Lombardi has been less than stellar with the Leafs, however. Here are his offensive stats over the last five years:

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So how many folks actually got demoted to the AHL last season?

JP Nikota
July 26 2012 03:23PM

No, I mean besides anyone who has been traded to Columbus. Fans are often quick to dismiss a player's role on a team, and suggest that the player be sent to an AHL affiliate in order to free the NHL team of the cap hit. Fans of teams in larger markets are assuredly the biggest offenders, and it makes sense - their teams are the ones that can afford it.

I have put together a list of all the players with one-way SPC deals, a minimum of 82 games played in the NHL, and who were demoted to their club's respective AHL affiliate. I've also checked, in cases where the AHL stay is brief, to make sure that none of these players were simply on a conditioning stint.

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Still searching for Francois Beauchemin

Cam Charron
July 26 2012 12:53PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded François Beauchemin on February 9, 2011. Since that trade, the Leafs have added among NHL defencemen:

  • Jake Gardiner
  • John-Michael Liles
  • Cody Franson

I've waged a miniature war against the minutes that Jake Gardiner played last season. I don't think he's good enough to hold down a Top Four spot on defence just yet, and there's no real guarantee whether he trends upward or downwards next season. Ideally, I think you'd want a second pairing player to play about 16-17 minutes at 5-on-5 a night, face a Rel QoC of about 0.4+, and preferably be a plus-possession player.

Comparing players on different teams by possession stats is a fool's errand, but I wanted to direct you to how strong of a player Beauchemin was with the Ducks last season:

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Centre of Confusion

Steve Dangle
July 26 2012 06:42AM

It's late July, and I'm a very bored hockey nut. Today I did what I always do around this time of year: Bust out a pencil and try to figure out what the Leafs' opening night lineup is going to be.

I am now thoroughly confused.

Unless I'm missing something, or unless the Leafs still have a trade up their sleeve, this is going to be one weird-looking Leafs lineup in October.

Here's how the process went...

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Leafs Nation Podcast: This is how sad James Wisniewski is

Leafs Nation Podcast
July 25 2012 06:25PM


In this week's podcast, Cam Charron, Danny Gray, and I chat about the recent Shea Weber situation, the Rick Nash deal, and get into the likelihood of the NHLPA being back to work this October.

After a while, things degenerate into ripping the Blue Jackets, and comparing them to terrible Futurama situations. You should check it out.

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