The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have recalled defenseman Mike Vernace from the Admirals today, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. The move was made because Lightning defenseman Matt Smaby  is ill.
Vernace, 6-foot, 216 pounds, has played in eight games with Tampa Bay this season, averaging 8:33 in ice time per game. He last appeared for the Lightning on November 20 against the Buffalo Sabres, logging 4:41 of ice time and landing two hits. He made his debut with Tampa Bay on October 9 against Atlanta and played a season-high 16:33 in ice time October 16 at Florida. He has played in 20 career NHL games with the Lightning and Colorado Avalanche.
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Vernace has skated in 45 games with the Admirals this season, recording six goals and 20 points. He ranks second among team defensemen for goals and power-play goals (2) and is also first for points. In 281 career American Hockey League games between Norfolk, Hamilton, Lake Erie and Albany, Vernace has scored 15 goals and 91 points.
Vernace was signed by the Lightning as a free agent on July 29, 2010. He was originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round, 201st overall, of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.