Sunday, May 13, 2007


Do the Flames Not Appreciate Lombardi?

Whilst surfing on a sleepy Sunday morning, I came upon some WTF article by Eric Francis.

The subject: Matthew Lombardi

Early in his stint at the world championships, one could easily have assumed the 'A' he wore on his jersey yesterday was there simply to appease French politicians barking up Shane Doan's tree.

However, by scoring twice in Canada's quarter-final win over Switzerland yesterday -- his fifth and sixth goals in seven games -- it's clear the 25-year-old Montreal native has earned it.

By using the tourney as his coming-out party it appears -- at the moment -- he belongs among the world's elite.

However, as Flames fans know, the only thing consistent about Lombardi is the tough love his bosses, GM Darryl Sutter and Jim Playfair, shower him with at every turn.

While tremendously gifted, it seems no one knows what to expect from the speedy centre night after night.

On the heels of a breakthrough 20-goal campaign that gave fans glimpses of his junior greatness, Lombardi was signed to a contract extension that will pay him $5.5 million over three years. Exactly who will pay his salary is anyone's guess as it appears he'll be used as trade bait this summer as the Flames go looking to add grit and character to a team finally stocked with offensive talent.

Even when it appeared to the casual observer Lombardi's flashy neutral-zone speed had him poised to make a Daniel Briere-type emergence, Playfair would shrug it off, suggesting he needed 'Lombo' to drive the net and muck around in the "dirty areas" more.

Am I reading that right? The Flames are looking at giving away Lombardi?

Look, I know the guy is a bit frustrating to some Flames fans, but he's a player I'd love on my team.

D00d is just 25, and has the need for speed...

Year Team GP G A Pts +/-
03-04 CGY 79 16 13 29 4
05-06 CGY 55 6 20 26 -1
06-07 CGY 81 20 26 46 10

When the Flames played the Canucks this year, Lombardi was a constant thorn in Luongo's side, using his speed to create scoring chances and annoyances for the Canucks D.

I saw a guy put on the 3rd line often, with linemates would couldn't pass a puck to themselves off the boards.

For a guy getting paid $5.5mil over 3 seasons, I'll take 20 goals and good penalty killing ability.

Go ahead, Calgary, get rid of the guy. You don't need him. We'll give you gritty Matt Cooke for him.

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Caution! That article was written by the Calgary Sun's Eric Francis, who isn't exactly held in the highest esteem by Flames fans. I doubt very much Lombardi's on the block. I think this is more of an instance of a columnist beating the drum for the local team to trade a player he doesn't particularly care for. Bruce Garrioch did this for years with Radek Bonk.
Cooke would be a good one, but Kesler would be better, because then the Canucks would be dumping his albatross of a salary.
Sssshh. Keep letting them think he's no good so they will trade him away. I'd love to have him on my team.
Lombardi for Lupul, straight up. We'll take him back.


No? Hello? Is this thing on?
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