Tampa Bay Lightning G Mike Smith assigned to AHL Norfolk on a conditioning assignment
The Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday assigned goaltender Mike Smith to AHL Norfolk for a conditioning assignment. Smith has been out with a sprained knee since Dec. 20. Smith had to agree to the assignment that is for two weeks (games do not matter, contrary to what we were told originally) and can be extended with the permission of the player. Because it is a conditioning assignment, no waivers are required.
Smith had been cleared to play on Wednesday. He must be taken off injured reserve to get in a game. Makes sense that he gets a few games in the minors before getting into an NHL contest. It also delays, for a bit, at least, the awkward situation of the Lightning having to manage three goaltenders.
Here is the announcement from the team:
The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned goaltender Mike Smith to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Smith, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, has played in 17 games with the Lightning this season, posting a 10-5-0 record with a 3.20 goals-against average and a .883 save percentage. He has been on injured reserve for the previous 15 games. In the two games before suffering a mild knee strain on December 20, Smith had posted a 2-0-0 record with a 0.96 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage.
A native of Kingston, Ontario, Smith has appeared in 157 NHL games with the Lightning and Dallas Stars. Smith has accumulated a 64-65-18 record with a .905 save percentage and a 2.74 goals-against average. He was named to the 2006-07 NHL All-Rookie Team. He last played in the AHL during the 2005-06 season with the Iowa Stars. That season he led the league in assists with six, and ranked fourth in goals-against average with 2.50 and saves with 1,387.
Smith was acquired by Tampa Bay with Jeff Halpern, Jussi Jokinen and a fourth round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from Dallas in exchange for Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist on February 26, 2008. He was drafted by the Stars in the fifth round, 161st overall, in 2001.