Leafs ship Matthew Lombardi to Coyotes

I think for those of us expecting a bigger trade, this one sorely disappoints. It does, however, clear up some issues for the Leafs’ roster this Saturday, namely the team’s logjam at centre.

As it happens, Toronto couldn’t collect any assets for Matthew Lombardi. The pick is a 4th rounder in next year’s draft, or a 3rd if Lombardi re-signs with the Coyotes or “meets certain stats”. That’s likely a games played threshold, given Lombardi’s concussion issues in the last three seasons. It’s not a salary dump, because the Leafs are loaded with cap space this season.

Unfortunately, Matthew Lombardi did not work out in Toronto, with 8 goals in 62 games. He did his job, though, as the Leafs paid him so Nashville wouldn’t have to, and in return the Predators exchanged Brett Lebda for Cody Franson. With Franson re-signing, that deal looks a bit better now.

The Leafs are still overloaded down the middle, with Tyler Bozak, Mikhail Grabovski, David Steckel, Jay McClement, and Tim Connolly on the depth chart, all of them legitimate NHLers. One of them may have to slide over to wing.