Sunday, May 29, 2011

The season that never was

During the summer of 2010, Nashville General Manager David Poile received a lot of credit locally and throughout the league for the signing of free agent Matthew Lombardi. The Predators signed Lombardi to a three-year deal worth $10.5 million. Lombardi was coming off of a career year in Phoenix, and was one of the best offensive options available in the free agent market.

Lombardi's speed was the main attraction to Preds fans. He is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, and the 53 points that he accumulated in Phoenix in the 2009-2010 season indicated that his offensive production was on the rise.

Strange and uncontrollable circumstances would bring Lombardi's 2010-2011 campaign to a sudden halt. He suffered a debilitating concussion during the 2nd game of the year against Chicago. He would go on to miss the remaining 80 games of the regular season, plus the 12 postseason games.

It's hard to say how much of an impact Lombardi would've had on the season, and the playoffs, for the Nashville Predators. His blazing speed makes him a weapon each time he's on the ice. It's useless to speculate on how much of a difference somebody like Lombardi would have made against the Vancouver Canucks. There is his future to worry about, however.

Many Preds fans are skeptical that Lombardi's career may be over. Personally, I don't think there is really any need to speculate on that. There's no timetable on injuries such as concussions. Lombardi has made no announcement to suggest that his career has been threatened by the injury.

It's unclear as to when Lombardi will be healthy enough to resume hockey activities. In the meantime, PredNation wishes him nothing but the best during the recovery process and hopes to have him back on the ice soon. When healthy, Nashville might just have a team that can contend for a Stanley Cup.

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