Panthers Made Right Decision by Extending Ryan Lomberg

On Oct. 9, 2020, the Florida Panthers signed former Calgary Flames forward Ryan Lomberg to a two-year contract. With only 11 NHL games, and most of his time spent with the Stockton Heat, many presumed he was just another body for training camp, or another asset for the Charlotte Checkers. However, he quickly changed minds with his playoff performance in 2021 and his elevated play this season. As a result, he was awarded a new two-year contract worth $800,000 per season on Nov. 26.

Lomberg’s Career Outlook

During his college days at the University of Maine, Ryan suited up for a total of 66 games from 2012 through 2014 for the Black Bears. Through those games, he recorded a total of 32 points (18 goals, 14 assists).

Lomberg’s career finally took off in Stockton, where he played 15 games and tallied three assists in 2015-16. That same year, he also played for the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL. In one season with the Thunder, he put up 35 points (18 goals, 17 assists) through 43 games played. Additionally, he dressed in 12 playoff games, where he scored three goals and assisted on three more.

It wasn’t until 2017-18 that he played his first NHL minutes. A good chunk of those minutes were spent in the penalty box, with a combined 22 penalty minutes through 11 regular-season games over two seasons with the Flames. In the AHL, however, he played well and tallied 109 points (49 goals, 60 assists) through 219 games across five seasons.

Ryan Lomberg Florida Panthers
After struggling to crack the Calgary Flames’ lineup, the Florida Panthers offered Ryan Lomberg a chance at a fresh start. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Florida signed Lomberg in October 2020 to a two-year contract worth $750,000. His career took a positive turn when he scored his first NHL goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 11, 2021, however, in his first season as a Panther he only tallied a four points (two goals, two assists) through 32 games. Still, he is perfectly suited for the playoffs, and in 2021 he scored the overtime winner in Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Furthermore, he led the team overall in penalty minutes with 67 spent in the sin bin.

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This season, he has a goal and two assists through 12 games; one more point, and he’ll match his total from last season.

Praise for Lomberg

Lomberg has high energy and All-Star level speed. His physicality is a reminder of the NHL in the mid-’90s, and general manager Bill Zito had nothing but praise when Lomberg signed an extension to stay in South Florida.

“Ryan has brought physicality and contagious energy to our lineup,” said Zito. “We are excited to announce that he will continue to be a part of the Panthers organization for years to come.”

Bill Zito on Ryan Lomberg’s new contract extension.

As Zito said, his energy is contagious and gives the team life in almost every game. He’s been a key part of the roster and should be a lock in the bottom six for the rest of the season.

The “Lomberghini” Rides

Over the course of this season and last, Lomberg has become both a fan favorite and a lock on the fourth line that features two-time Stanley Cup winner Patric Hornqvist and Eetu Luostarinen. In the rise of adversity this season, Lomberg has stepped up for the team in a huge way, and his recent contract extension proves the team has confidence in his abilities.

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This extension comes right as the Cats sit second in the Atlantic Division, two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, at 31 points through 21 games. The divisional race is tight just after Thanksgiving, and the team is hoping that the “Lomberghini” has enough gas in the tank to help drive the team into a playoff spot and beyond.


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