Player Name/position: Matthew Lombardi, C
Overall Grade: C, Oh yeah! We traded for this guy at the deadline.
Contract Status: UFA, $2 Million Cap Hit, $3.5M Salary in 2013 (per Capgeek, of course)
2013 Stats: 7 Games Played, 0 Goals, 0 Assists, 0 Points, 4 PIM, 13:25 TOI/G; With Phoenix: 21 GP, 4-4-8
Offense: When I think of Lombardi (rarely) the first thing that comes to mind is that he is one of the nameless faceless masses that makes up the scoring committee of a team lacking offensive fire power like Phoenix, Nashville or Calgary (excluding Jerome Iginla). Throughout his career the only other team he's played for was Toronto (2011-12). To me he is one of those guys who puts up 20-30 points a season on a team where every forward has around 15-40 points. His career high was 53 in 2010 with Phoenix.
So, I guess he didn't quite meet those expectations having put up no numbers in only seven games. Although I was shocked to find out he had made that many appearances in a Ducks sweater (I would have guessed three). Had he been brought in to start the season i probably would have had higher hopes for him, but by the time he became a Duck the middle of the ice had been shored up significantly by the improvements of Ryan Getzlaf and Saku Koivu from last season, the emergence of Nick Bonino and the acquisition of David Steckel.
In addition, he ended up being the opposite side of Radek Dvorak's coin; the less productive of the two older forwards Bob Murray took a flyer on for depth down the stretch. Still, I'd still say the chance that he could provide some offense in limited minutes was worth jettisoning Brandon McMilan, who had fallen off the radar and also had an expiring contract (RFA).
Defense: The Hockey News claims that Lombardi has "excellent penalty killing skills" and has the career potential (he's 31) to be a "speedy two-way forward, when healthy." He logged a grand total of 19 seconds shorthanded as a Duck, and while I was vaguely aware of his speed I saw no evidence of it in black, gold and orange.
In yesterday's report card I gave Jordan Hendry credit for being neither seen nor heard but for me, the definition of a two-way forward means more than not being a liability. Of course, as with most of the players we've covered so far on our report cards he wasn't offered much of an opportunity to prove himself one way or the other.
Highlight of the Season: There were about 48 hours between the Ducks trading for him and his first game with the club when I wondered what he could bring. Then he did nothing and I pretty much forgot about him until today.
Expectations for Next Year: I highly doubt he'll be retained in free agency. Other teams who don't have two players taking up 26% of the salary cap are much more likely to sign him for something approximating the $3.5M (prorated) that he made this year.