March 29, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Matthew Lombardi (15) against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre. Philadelphia defeated Toronto 7-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Lombardi Rocks

General Manager Don Maloney is a master when it comes to trades. He has yet to make a trade that did not make the Phoenix Coyotes better in terms of talent and in terms of character in the locker room. Yesterday, Don Maloney pulled off a trade that everyone is praising. Matthew Lombardi is returning to Phoenix in exchange for a fourth round draft pick.

After the scrimmage last night when Shane Doan was asked about Lombo rejoining the Pack, Doan had a huge smile on his face as he talked about his “World Class Speed.” If you saw any of the skates the NHL players conducted here in the valley, who was riding shotgun with Shane? Matthew.

Lombo comes in as a first line center who brings the world class speed and playmaking hands. A 5’11” 195 lb left handed shot, he was a 3rd round pick in the 2002 entry draft. His face off percentage wins  was down to 49% last season after being above 50% for most of his career. He averages 18 shifts a game.  He is only 30 years old but has less miles on his body due to missing most of the  2010-2011 season with Nashville (should have never left Matthew!). Over the past five NHL seasons he played, he averaged 16 goals a season. I left out last year in Toronto, because no one scores in Toronto other than Phil Kessel. No air left in the building when he is gliding off the ice.

Did I mention that he is loved in the locker room and by the fans. Between Zbynek Michalek and Matthew Lombardi returning to the pack, GMDM has put a winning team on the ice for Mr. Jamison and for the fans.

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