Leafs get Lombardi, Franson from Preds
The Toronto Maple Leafs made more tweaks to their lineup Sunday, acquiring centre Matthew Lombardi and defenceman Cody Franson from the Nashville Predators.
Toronto sent defenceman Brett Lebda and forward Robert Slanley to Nashville.
The Predators will also get a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2013 entry draft if Lombardi plays 60 or more games over the next two seasons. If he doesn't, Toronto will acquire Nashville's fourth-rounder in 2013.
After staying quiet on the first day of the NHL's signing period, the Leafs made their first free agent splash Saturday by signing Tim Connolly, who struggled to stay in Buffalo's lineup due to nagging injuries.
Like Connolly, Lombardi, has had to deal with concussion problems. He missed all but two games after suffering a concussion in October.
But Lombardi says his recovery is on the right track.
"I've come a long way since then," Lombardi said. "My everyday stuff is getting pretty close to normal, I've seen a lot of progress the last few months.
"Obviously it has taken a long time but I'm pretty confident I'm near the end. I'm getting better. I'm not there yet but my goal is to be ready for training camp. It is what it is right now and I'm looking forward to the opportunity."
Lombardi set a career high in assists (34) and points (53) in 78 games with the Phoenix Coyotes while posting 19 goals in 2009-10.
The 29-year-old appeared in 446 games with Calgary, Phoenix and Nashville, collecting 236 points (89 goals, 147 assists). The Montreal native also contributed three goals and 13 assists in 40 career playoff games.
Entering his third season in the league, the 23-year-old Franson played 80 games with the Predators last year, registering a career high eight goals, 21 assists and 29 points. The young blue-liner also chipped in six points in 12 post-season games with the Predators.
"I'm real excited about the opportunity to go in there and try to play a big role on that team," Franson said. "I want to go in there and really try and help produce."
Lebda appeared in 41 games for the Leafs last season, posting just one goal and three assists. The 29-year-old was a free agent signing by the Leafs in 2010 after he spent the previous five seasons with the Detroit Red Wings.
One of those seasons was the Red Wings' 2008 Stanley Cup-winning campaign, in which he appeared in 23 games and posted six assists and a plus-eight rating.
Slanley has yet to play in an NHL game. He played the majority of last season with the ECHL's Reading Royals, notching seven goals, 17 assists and 24 points in 61 games. He also appeared in nine contests for the Leafs' AHL farm team Toronto Marlies, posting one assist.
With files from The Canadian Press