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Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mike Smith okay after puck hits him in head

Lightning goaltender Mike Smith took a shot off his mask from a 14-year-old.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Lightning goaltender Mike Smith took a shot off his mask from a 14-year-old.

A week after getting on skates for the first time in six months because of post-concussion syndrome, G Mike Smith took one for the team — right off the noggin.

"He did get hit in the head," GM Brian Lawton said Tuesday. "Thank God it was from a 14-year-old."

Lawton said Smith had "no effects" from the incident that occurred with his helmet and mask on as he took shots in Toronto from kids attending the camp of Smith's personal coach, Jon Elkin.

One of the kids apparently got a wrist shot a bit too high, Lawton said.

Any blow to Smith's head is noteworthy considering how long it took Tampa Bay's No. 1 goalie to overcome the symptoms that ended his season on Jan. 30.

Smith, 27, who is about to start a two-year, $4.4 million contract, is a key to the Lightning's season, and the team has been consistent in saying it believes he will be ready when training camp opens Sept. 12 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.

Smith has said he did not tell the team while he played with concussion symptoms for nearly two months after being kneed in the head by then-teammate Vinny Prospal during a Dec. 2 game with the Flyers.

INJURY UPDATES: D Andrej Meszaros and Paul Ranger should be cleared for contact when camp opens, Lawton said. They had arthroscopic surgeries in April to repair torn labrums in their left shoulders and were examined in early July by noted orthopedist James Andrews, who did both procedures.

"There is no reason to believe that either would not be ready for camp," trainer Tommy Mulligan said.

W Adam Hall also should be ready for camp after "minor" surgery for a sports hernia, Lawton said.

LOISELLE IN LIMBO: The contract of co-assistant GM Claude Loiselle expired Friday, but thanks, it seems, to the squabbles between owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, there is no authorization to offer an extension.

Loiselle, 46, a lawyer who handles contracts and collective bargaining agreement compliance and has good contacts within the league after seven years there as associate director of hockey operations, still is working for the team, and could for a time. The Ottawa Sun reported he is in the mix to be the Senators' director of player personnel.

Lawton declined comment beyond saying of Loiselle, an Ottawa native who interned for Lawton when Lawton was an agent and ran the hockey operation for Octagon Sports, "I really like him. He has done an excellent job."

VINNY ON VINNY: Vinny Lecavalier and Prospal are good friends, so it was no surprise Lecavalier said he was "very disappointed" when the final three years of Prospal's contract were bought out.

"I feel for him," the captain said. "I know he really loves Tampa. … A lot of it is the business. But I like to play with Vinny Prospal. He's a great guy and works harder than anybody on the ice. He has a passion for the game. He's a great friend, and it's always tough to see one of your friends leave."

OHLUND'S CONTRACT: Specifics of the contract for D Mattias Ohlund finally have been revealed. The seven-year, $25.25 million deal pays $4 million next season and 2010-11; $5.5 million in 2011-12; $5 million in 2012-13; $3.75 million in 2013-14; $2 million in 2014-15 and $1 million in 2015-16.

MORE CONTRACTS: Lawton said he expects during the next few weeks to sign Ds Matt Lashoff and Mike Lundin and F Martins Karsums, all restricted free agents.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mike Smith okay after puck hits him in head 08/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 6:44am]
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