Defenseman Matt Smaby's agent says his client wants a one-way deal
Ben Hankinson, agent for restricted free agent Matt Smaby, said his client filed for arbitration mainly because Smaby wants a one-way contract.
"Matt would like a one- or two-year deal with the Bolts," Hankinson said in a text message. "Just trying to get NHL one-way."
The Lightning filed a qualifying offer in order to retain Smaby's negotiating rights. But it filed a two-way deal;$660,000 if he plays in the NHL (the required 10 percent above last season's base salary), $65,000 if he plays in the minors.
Hankinson gave no indication about how much more money, if any, Smaby will ask for.
Either way, Lightning general manager Brian Lawton said he is confident the issue will be settled before the arbitration hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. If it does go to arbitration, the club will get to choose whether it wants the decision to be applied to a one- or two-year deal. The walk-away number this year is about $1.57 million, and it is unlikely Smaby would ask for that.
"I have no doubt we'll work something out," Lawton said.
Smaby, 24, was one of the Lightning's stalwarts last season, helping keep the inujrydepleted blue line together by playing several months with a broken right foot. In 43 games he had four assists with 50 penalty minutes and was minus-11. He also averaged 19:05 of ice time.
"Hope to get a deal done with Tampa without arbitration, but time will tell," Hankinson texted . "Matt wants to play for the Lightning next year."