Tampa Bay Lightning assigns defenseman Matt Smaby to AHL Norfolk for conditioning
The Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday assigned defenseman Matt Smaby to AHL Norfolk on a conditioning assignment. Smaby has not played in the Lightning's first two games, and it was uncertain when he would get into the lineup.
A conditioning assignment can last no more than 14 days. While in Norfolk, Smaby will remain on Tampa Bay's 23-player roster.
Has to be a better situation for Smaby to play some instead of just practicing and sitting in the press box during games, don't you think. In fact, there was no guarantee Smaby would see a regular-season game any time soon. Even with Kurtis Foster out with a lower-body injury, David Hale and Lukas Krajicek seemed next in line to get playing time, and Hale seems to have done enough in Tuesday's game against the Hurricanes to get another game.
So, while I'm sure Smaby is disappointed to be going down, it probably does him more good in the long run.
How much do we like Matt Smaby? In case you didn't see the story I did on him earlier in the week, this quote stands out. Asked if he felt let down by the Lightning after bailing the team out last season by playing several months with a broken foot, Smaby said no.
"I'm a really competitive guy," he said. "I want to be in there as much, or more, than anybody else. At the same time, I want to be a really good team guy while I'm here. I realize it's more than just about me. As long as I'm a part of the team, I'm going to do everything I can to make it better."
That is a pro.