Skip to main content

Lombardi takes ice for first time with Leafs

NHL.com @NHL
Matthew Lombardi, acquired by Toronto during the summer, took the ice for the first time in nearly a year when he was in the starting lineup for Saturday night's preseason game against Detroit.

The 29-year-old center signed with Nashville in the summer of 2010 but played only two games for the Predators last season before being knocked out of the lineup on Oct. 13 with a severe concussion. Toronto acquired him from the Predators this summer.

Lombardi finlshed with 17:08 of ice time, had one shot on goals and went pointless in the 4-2 loss to the Red Wings.

"It was nice to get out there," he told Hockey Night in Canada during the first intermission. "Just being in that atmosphere out there, with the crowd, the emotion before the game, the energy, was just nice.

"I'm just going to take it a game at a time," he said. "I'm just trying to keep up -- we've got a real quick group. I've got to get into game shape. It will get better every game."

Coach Ron Wilson said at the morning skate that Lombardi has been skating hard since getting the OK to have contact a few days ago.

"He hasn't played in over a year … He's practiced really hard for 10 days and been allowed physical contact the last week," Wilson said. "He's ready but game speed is an entirely different thing. He'll probably be very nervous but he's excited to play."

Lombardi signed with Nashville as a free agent after scoring 19 goals and 34 assists in 63 games with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2009-10. Before that, he spent several seasons with the Calgary Flames.
View More