The Nashville Predators finally won one of the free agent frenzies by locking up one of the top centers on the market. Matthew Lombardi will make 3.5 million annually over the next three seasons and help transition top rookie Colin Wilson into the first line slot (We initially thought the Preds would hand over the keys following the trade of their captain).
Last season, Lombardi registered career highs alonside Wojtek Wolski, Shane Doan and Scottie Upshall. For the first time in his career he finished with more than 50 points as he finally converted all that speed and talent into production.
Nashville traded Dustin Boyd recently, helping to deplete the depth down the middle. David Legwand, Marcel Goc, Wilson and Lombardi should see ample time on the ice throughout the season as the Predators improved a weakness.
The Predators could be a hit or miss team come next season, but there should be no discrediting the talent featured on their roster. Martin Erat, Patric Hornqvist, J.P. Dumont and even Sergei Kostitsyn all hold the ability to contribute on your team with solid centermen.
Should be interesting to watch the Preds next season, as netminder Pekka Rinne really established himself last season and could continue to be an impact player– making the rest of the roster look better.