Lombardi set to make NHL return after agreeing to terms with Rangers

Matthew Lombardi closed the 2012-13 season with the Ducks and then played in Switzerland last season.

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Matthew Lombardi is taking his game back to North America, agreeing to a deal with the New York Rangers.

The team announced the move on Wednesday. According to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants (northjersey.com), it’s a two-year contract worth $1.6 million.

Lombardi last saw NHL action during the 2012-13 season, playing 28 games and recording four goals, four assists, and a plus-8 rating for the then-Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks. The 32-year-old played for Geneve-Servette of Switzerland’s National League A last season, posting a league-high 50 points (20-30-50) in 46 games and a plus-17 rating.

According to Gross:

"Lombardi … gives the Rangers more depth in the middle. Derek Stepan, restricted free agent Derick Brassard and re-signed unrestricted free agent Dominic Moore would be the three returning centers from last season. The bought-out Brad Richards, of course, is now a Chicago Blackhawk and occasional center Brian Boyle is now with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Rangers are also hoping J.T. Miller and/or Oscar Lindberg can play their way into the permanent rotation. Both are natural centers, though Miller has played on the wing more often when he’s dressed for the Rangers."

The former third-round draft pick (90th overall, 2002) of the Calgary Flames has 101 goals and 161 assists in 536 career NHL games. He also has three goals and 13 assists in 40 postseason games.

Lombardi has reached 40 points three times and has tallied at least 14 goals in five of seven seasons in which he has played 55 games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(h/t: NHL.com for the briefing)