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12-27-2012, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TieClark View Post
I guess you missed this "If he's playing at the same calibre as he did pre-concussion" part of my post...
I guess I just don't see much of a reason to expect him to bounce back. He turns 31 in a couple months, super severe concussions (like the one Lombardi suffered) are career changers for lots of players, and he really showed no improvement/progress throughout the course of last season. He was a shadow of his former self last year, he could bounce back a fair bit and still not be good enough to make our team, he'd have to bounce back all the way to his prime to be much of an asset. That seems very unlikely to me. It's not often that you see a 30+ year old recover from a full season of being more or less not NHL quality, only to become a real asset in the future. A season like the one Lombardi had last year generally means "put a fork in him, he's done."

Let me put it this way: Scott Gomez is pretty much a VERY rich man's Lombardi, he plays a similar style, but did it way better in his prime. Gomez isn't much older than Lombardi (Gomez just turned 33 a few days ago, Lombardi turns 31 in a couple months), and he hasn't suffered a real career shortening injury like Lombardi's concussion either, but still nobody is expect him to bounce back significantly. When an undersized, 30+ year old player becomes more or less useless for 1+ seasons, there's generally not a whole lot of hope. Expecting Lombardi to return to his prime isn't much different than expecting Gomez to return to his prime.

You mentioned Lombardi being a great fit on the 3rd line, if he can get his game back. I'd say we have 7 forwards who are very clearly going to be on the top 3 lines (Kessel, Lupul, Bozak, Grabo, JVR, Kulemin and MacArthur). That leaves 2 spots left on the 3rd line. Battling for those 2 spots are Frattin, Kadri, Connolly and McClement. Lombardi would have to be better than at least 3 of those guys to have a spot on the 3rd line. In reality I don't think he's better than any of them, even if he's playing quite a bit better than he was last year.

Last edited by ponder: 12-27-2012 at 08:28 PM.
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