2010 NHL Free Agency: Predators sign speedy Matt Lombardi to three-year, $10.5M deal

lombardi.jpgYou know it’s a shallow pool of forwards when Matthew Lombardi is one of the most promising candidates, but that is the case this summer. The Nashville Predators signed Lombardi to deal for three years, $10.5 million according to Pierre LeBrun.

Lombardi’s speed and two-way play have always been there, but last year seemed like a potential breakthrough season. He managed to put up a career-high 53 points in 09-10, playing particularly well once he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes. Lombardi put up a near-point-per-game pace in the desert, scoring five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 19 games.

Though he reached a career high last year, he’s been a pretty stable guy in the 40+ point range for some time now, but it’s his speed and smarts that make him a valuable player.

He received the same contract as Matt Cullen did in Minnesota. If I had to choose between paying Lombardi $3.5 million per year or doing the same with Cullen, I’d take my chances with Lombardi. He should be a great fit for the offense-starved but always defense-first Nashville Predators. They need to make every free agent signing count and if I had to guess, they nailed it right here.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
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What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.