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Preds Acquire Lebda & Slaney From Toronto For Franson & Lombardi

by Press Release / Nashville Predators
Instant Analysis

The Franson/Lombardi trade is a trade that can’t fully be evaluated right now; it’s a set-up move for other options down the line, specifically moving Lombardi’s contract off the books. This move now gives the Preds the flexibility to be active in the off-season market. And the trade also speaks to the tremendous depth of talented defensemen the Preds have accumulated. As much as Franson brought to the ice, he only averaged 15:10 of ice time last season and with the emergence of Jon Blum (who averaged 17:42 during the regular season and 18:51 a game during the playoffs) and return of Francis Bouillon, there was no guarantee Franson would be able work his way into a more prominent role for the Preds in 2011-12.

“Unfortunately Lombardi’s concussion early last season and relatively lack of recovery to date left us in a position of uncertainty heading into this season, which made it difficult for us to plan,” Preds GM David Poile said. “This move allows us more certainty with our roster heading into this season. Now it’s my job to build around the strong core we have in place and when the opportunity presents, I’d like to strike to help make that core even better.”
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--Jay Levin,

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 3, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Brett Lebda and forward Robert Slaney from the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Cody Franson and forward Matthew Lombardi. The deal also includes a fourth-round pick – Nashville will acquire Toronto’s 2013 fourth rounder if Lombardi plays 60 or more games regular-season games over the course of 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, while Toronto will acquire Nashville’s 2013 fourth rounder if Lombardi does not play 60 games during the next two campaigns.

“Unfortunately, Matthew Lombardi's concussion last season and recovery left us uncertain about his ability to come back for this season, and that uncertainty has made it difficult for us to move forward, plan and develop our lineup,” Poile said. “We never like to give up young homegrown talent like Cody Franson, but have to give up something in order to put ourselves in position to do other things to improve our team, which we are committed to doing between now and training camp.”

Lebda, 29 (1/15/82), appeared in 41 games for the Leafs in 2010-11, registering four points (1g-3a) and 14 penalty minutes. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., native has amassed 72 points (19g-53a) and 215 penalty minutes in 367 NHL regular-season contests with Detroit and Toronto since 2005-06, and 10 assists and 40 PIMs in 62 playoff games during that span. The 5-9, 194-pound blueliner won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008, and helped Detroit advance to the Finals the following season. Prior to turning pro in 2004-05, Lebda played four seasons at the University of Notre Dame, amassing 85 points (26g-59a) and 253 penalty minutes in 152 games.

Slaney, 22 (10/13/88), spent the majority of the 2010-11 campaign with the ECHL’s Reading Royals, notching 24 points (7g-17a) and 34 PIMs in 61 games. He also appeared in nine contests with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, posting one assist and two penalty minutes. The 6-2, 203-pound native of Upper Island Cove, Newfoundland played four seasons with Cape Breton (QMJHL) from 2005-09, registering 168 points (78g-90a) and 229 PIMs in 239 games.

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