Lombardi discusses his free agents

I thought it was fair to ask Lombardi about the free-agent signings he made last summer, and his analysis of the players. He forgot to mention Nagy, and I forgot to follow up on it because we got off on a different subject. Anyway, here’s what he had to say:

“Michal Handzus, we expected him to be better. He started skating better in the second half. He’s not the fleetest afoot anyway. He got himself in a rut and started pressing. He’d be the first to tell you he wasn’t
where he expects to be. Until the last couple months his skating wasn’t where he expected to be. Next year, I expect him to be more like we expected him to be when we got him.

“Stewy (Brad Stuart) did what we expected. Wasn’t any more, wasn’t any less. Plays hard.

“Calder, he was probably a little below where i expected. He started out really well and then tapered off. In terms of what Kyle is, hes that gritty third-line player. He’s a good fit in the right mix. Again, these aren’t the guys you were expecting to turn this around.

“Preissing, maybe you expected more in terms of numbers. He got more confident with the puck. I think he was probably sub-prime early but you’re starting to see it. Is it way out of line with what you expected? Not really. When you have to bring in players to fill this many holes, it’s not good.”

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  • Tompa

    I think Dean is being a bit generous.

    Handzues is a big disappointment obviously.
    Brad Stuart was okay. He looked pretty bad most of the season though, but nearing the trade deadline he shaped up.

    Calder broke my heart. He was fantastic, absolutely fantastic, until he broke his thumb. He worked hard, drove the net and played tough around the corners. After the injury he vanished. I really hope he can turn it around for next season.

    Preissing is another disappintment. Very weak in the defensive zone and doesn’t have the offensive numbers to justify his position as an offensive defenseman. He’s been a bit better in both ends lately though.

    Nagy did little to impress. His point production was fair, but I got the impresson most of his points were gathered on the big wins of the season (like the 8-2 Chicago game, if I remember it correctly). With a guy like Frolov he should have been putting up more points. But to be fair he played quite a lot next to Handzues who is incapable of putting up points.

    I do understand that we needed to fill the roster to keep the younglings in the minors a bit longer. I just wish atleast one of the FA signings would have turned out to be good.

  • lakingzfan

    I think overall the FA signings were very disappointing.
    I expect zues to bounce back next year, now that his knee should be 100% (not that it wasn’t the whole year, but i think hell have more confidence on it) He shouldn’t have to put up big numbers, but needs to be a stopper of the other teams #1 (sammy pahlson like)
    Calder should be a capable contributer next year on the PP and fill some time on the 3rd/4th line.
    PLEASE let nagy go. hes injury prone and we dont need more offence and hes a defensive liability.
    Preissing needs a good stay at home Dman with size so he can be more comfortable. Lets remembe he was a 20+ player with Ottawa last year (i dont know he played with mostly there)
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Start back, but I doubt it. He can deliver big hits and gets his shots through. If not him, someoe else who can hit big and intimidae the other teams top ofensive playmakers.