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Status of Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith remains in limbo

CALGARY — Lightning G Mike Smith met last week with Vancouver chiropractor Don Grant to see if anything more can be done to accelerate his recovery from a concussion.

Trainer Tommy Mulligan said that Smith has worked with Grant before. Smith returned to Tampa after Friday's game and could not be reached. Mulligan said Smith's recovery is "going in the right direction."

Lightning brass will meet after Wednesday's trade deadline to decide whether Smith, who has missed 13 games, should be shut down for the rest of the season, coach Rick Tocchet said.

Tampa Bay already has made that call with defensemen Paul Ranger and Andrej Meszaros, both of whom will have shoulder surgery Tuesday. But Tocchet said the decision is more difficult when dealing with a concussion.

"If you have a knee problem or shoulder, you can see in the sense of, 'Let's get surgery' or 'Let's give him two weeks,' " he said. "I don't know with concussions. It's up to Mike and how he feels."

DOWNIE SUSPENDED: AHL Norfolk's Steve Downie was suspended indefinitely by the league, pending an investigation into an incident Saturday against Hershey. The right wing allegedly slashed linesman Mike Hamilton during a faceoff with 14 seconds left in the third period.

Norfolk GM Mike Butters said that Downie tried to smack the stick of yapping opponent Andrew Joudrey. He said if Downie's stick hit Hamilton's foot (and Butters said after watching the video "70 times in slow motion, stop frame," he still is not convinced it happened), it was unintentional.

"I am absolutely sure," Butters said, "there was no intent whatsoever for any aggressive action toward the official."

But Hershey spokesman John Walton said the video is clear Downie caught Hamilton on the right shin. He also said Hamilton received medical attention from the Bears trainers after the game and had a "big welt."

The AHL's Jason Chaimo­vitch said a decision on a suspension might not come until Tuesday.

ROBERTS TO FLAMES?: Rumors are LW Gary Roberts could be traded to the Flames, the club with which he began his career in 1986 and won the '89 Stanley Cup. Roberts, 42, likely to retire after the season, agreed it would be a kick to end his career in Calgary.

"That would be exciting for me, sure," he said. "It would be a nice way to finish it."

REACQUAINTED: Tocchet, for the first time as a head coach, faced the Flames' Mike Keenan, who coached Tocchet as a Flyers rookie in 1984-85. Keenan, he said, was one of the first coaches to stress conditioning:

"We had a lot of on-ice work with weight belts. We did stuff no one did. That's why that first year, 113 points, we were in incredible shape. We could sustain three intense periods of hockey."

DIFFERENT TIMES: Flames D Cory Sarich and enforcer Andre Roy look back fondly on their 2004 Cup victory with Tampa Bay, and both called the team's current state "sad."

"It's sad to see it dissolve as quickly as it has," Sarich said. "Seeing what's going on, I'm actually pretty happy with being located elsewhere."

ODDS AND ENDS: Roy (concussion) and Lightning F Ryan Craig were scratched. … D Lukas Krajicek (hip, illness) played after missing four games.

Status of Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith remains in limbo 03/01/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 2, 2009 7:46am]
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