Brian Burke, President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Sunday that the club has acquired forward Matthew Lombardi and defenceman Cody Franson
from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenceman Brett Lebda and forward Robert Slaney. The trade also includes a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2013 Entry Draft.
Lombardi, 29, missed all but two games of the 2010-11 season due to a concussion suffered on October 13 with the Predators against the Chicago Blackhawks. In 78 games with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2009-10, he set career highs in assists (34) and points (53), ranking second on the team in both categories, while posting 19 goals, 36 penalty minutes and a plus-eight (+8) rating.
The native of Montreal, Quebec has appeared in 446 career NHL games with Calgary, Phoenix and Nashville, collecting 236 points (89 goals, 147 assists) with 275 penalty minutes. Lombardi has also registered three goals and 13 assists for 16 points in 40 career NHL playoff games. Prior to his professional career, the 5-11, 195-pound centreman played four seasons (1998 to 2002) with the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL. In his final season, Lombardi won the Ed Chynoweth Award (Memorial Cup Leading Scorer) and was named to the Memorial Cup All-Star team.
Franson, 23, played 80 games last season with the Predators, registering career highs in goals (8), assists (21), points (29) and penalty minutes (30). He also appeared in 12 playoff games in 2010-11, posting a goal and five assists. In 141 career NHL games with Nashville, the 6-5, 213-pound defenceman has accumulated 50 points (14 goals, 36 assists) with 46 penalty minutes.
Franson has also played in 158 career games in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Milwaukee Admirals. He was named to the AHL’s second All-Star Team in 2008-09 and to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team in 2007-08. The native of Salmon Arm, British Columbia played parts of five seasons (2002 to 2007) with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL) before turning pro. He was named to the WHL West First All-Star Team and to the Memorial Cup All-Star Team in 2006-07.