Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning puts goalie Mike Smith on waivers

Mike Smith ends up being the odd man out in the Lightning’s three-goalie situation. Dan Ellis will back up Dwayne Roloson.

JOSEPH GARNETT JR. | Times

Mike Smith ends up being the odd man out in the Lightning’s three-goalie situation. Dan Ellis will back up Dwayne Roloson.

TAMPA — The Lightning on Wednesday addressed its three-goalie glut before it became an issue by placing Mike Smith on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to AHL Norfolk.

It will be known at noon today if he clears or is claimed.

"He needs to play," GM Steve Yzerman said. "Having three goaltenders here, we don't want to go to any kind of rotation. If Smitty gets claimed, good for him. If he doesn't, he goes down and plays for us down there."

The move has several facets.

At its root, Tampa Bay decided to go with Dan Ellis as Dwayne Roloson's backup.

Paying Smith the rest of his $2.4 million salary to play in the minors likely wasn't its first choice. But Smith, out since Dec. 20 with a sprained left knee, proved during last week's conditioning stint with Norfolk he is healthy. And despite denials all around, having three goalies on the roster would be awkward.

Add that Norfolk G Cedrick Desjardins could be out for the season with a shoulder injury that might need surgery and an opening needs to be filled.

It might end up being a showcase for Smith, 28, who could be traded or claimed on recall waivers before becoming an unrestricted free agent after the season. Yzerman has said he is looking at trades to clean up the three-goalie situation.

Smith was "quiet" when told the plan, Yzerman said. "There's not much he can say."

Smith, who practiced and left the St. Pete Times Forum before the news broke, did not respond to a text message

"I think we've managed it the best we could," coach Guy Boucher said. "The reality is we got a goaltender through a trade (Roloson) who's proven why we got him, which means less space for the other guys."

"We don't take these things lightly," Boucher added. "Players are not numbers for us. We care. It's important whatever we do, we try to find the best possible option for the team but also for the individual with the circumstances we're facing."

DESJARDINS UPDATE: Desjardins, in town to consult with Tampa Bay's medical staff, will return to Norfolk to get an opinion from his doctor before deciding on surgery or rehabilitation for his injured right shoulder, Yzerman said.

The question is whether the injury is new or an old one that was aggravated. Yzerman declined to be specific. It is known Desjardins had a previous labrum tear.

If the injury can be rehabilitated, Desjardins, 14-6-1 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage, might play again this season, Yzerman said:

"We'll make the right decision. It will just take a little longer."

MORE INJURIES: D Mattias Ohlund (knee), held out of the last 9:39 of Tuesday's win over the Flyers, did not practice. Asked if he could sit out a game or two, he said, "We're hoping not to get to that point." ... D Mike Lundin (groin/abdomen) said, "Once I'm playing, I'm fine."

PRACTICE SQUADS: Practice was split into three sessions — defense, bottom two lines, top two lines — to give small groups of players targeted attention.

"These guys need a lot of work on the little things and fundamentals," Boucher said. "They're smart with the team system, but with individual technique and tactics, you'd be surprised at how much work they need."

At one point Boucher worked with only C Vinny Lecavalier and LW Simon Gagne on bending their knees when they shoot.

Assistants Wayne Fleming and Marty Raymond worked with right wings Steve Downie and Teddy Purcell on getting passes from corners to the slot past a defender.

"Throughout the year, practices are so limited, you're always working on team concepts," Purcell said. "It's great to mix it up and work on individual skills."

Tampa Bay Lightning puts goalie Mike Smith on waivers 02/02/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 10:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs roundtable: Time for another kicking panic?

    Bucs

    Five days after the beleaguered Roberto Aguayo got cut after missing a PAT and a field goal, new Bucs kicker Nick Folk had a PAT blocked and missed a field goal.

  2. The Bloomingdale's that a Ruth baseball built

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — A treasure, possibly worth half a million dollars, could lie behind a granite slab at the base of the Bloomingdale's flagship store in Manhattan in New York City, just a few feet from a window displaying designer handbags: a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.

    According to reports from 1930, this cornerstone of Bloomingdale's flagship store in New York City could have a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and other items entombed with instructions not to open for 200 years. The Ruth ball, if there and in good condition, could be worth a record $500,000. [ New York Times]
  3. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  4. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  5. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.