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12-27-2012, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ponder View 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."

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.
Lombardi missed an entire year and then 20 games in the middle of last season as well... I'm not sure what you were expecting exactly. He isn't Crosby and never has been, even in Calgary he where he was great he was a .5 points a game player. His real value is his defensive play and speed which he hasn't lost. I see no reason why a 31 year old cannot find his form again and like I said, MacArthur is a stop gap. He won't be here for much longer. Frattin and Kadri should only be given spots if they can actually earn it and Connolly will be lucky to last the year regardless of anyone elses play.

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