Steve Zipay at Newsday reports that the Rangers have signed center Matthew Lombardi to a two-year, $800,000 per year contract.
Last season, the 32-year old Lombardi played in the Swiss National League for Geneva-Servette where he had 20 goals, 30 assists in 46 games to lead the league in scoring.
The 5′ 11″, 195lb center was last in the NHL for the 2012-13 season in which he played for both Phoenix and Anaheim scoring just eight points in 32 games. He has a career 49.4% faceoff success rate.
Lombardi, who is known for his speed and penalty killing prowess, averaged a Corsi of 46% his final two seasons in the NHL. Lombardi has suffered multiple concussions during his career.
…an injury-prone, 32-year old who’s been playing in Europe? Not exactly the center I was hoping for. I guess I understand Sather wanting to bring in a cheap veteran center to push Miller and Lindberg in camp, but if Lombardi is the third line center on opening night, I’d say the Rangers are in trouble this season.
…he is a former 20 goal scorer but that was way back in 2006-07, so I wouldn’t count on him turning back the clock. His possession stats also raise a red flag that his NHL days are over.
…the only chance I see him cracking the Rangers roster is if Tanner Glass ends up being as horrific as Adam anticipates. Lombardi’s ability on the penalty kill could be valuable, so a fourth line role alongside Dominic Moore and Carcillo (if re-signed) could be in his future.
…if sent down to Hartford, Lombardi could be a mentor for guys like Lindberg or St. Croix if neither make the Rangers out of camp.