Smaby, who made his NHL debut on October 4 against New Jersey, has recorded four penalty minutes in four games.
A Minnesota native and University of North Dakota product, Smaby spent a majority of last season at Springfield in the AHL, registering two tallies and 16 points in 66 contests. He was selected by the Lightning in the second round of the 2003 draft.
Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times speculates Smaby could return to Tampa after a three-game weekend with the Admirals and that this move looks to be unrelated to Dan Boyle returning.
In the new era of the NHL where the salary cap reigns, it is imperative clubs find and develop their own talent through their farm system. Since the lockout in 2004-2005, the Lightning has been forced to compete to stay at the top of the food chain by carefully shopping for affordable free agents and coordinating financially-sensitive trades. While other clubs have had the option of plugging multiple holes with cost-feasible prospects, the Lightning has been forced to look outside the organizational depth chart for help.
Opening night wins are a good thing.
New Jersey 9:06, Brian Gionta 1 (power play) (Zach Parise, Travis Zajac)
Tampa Bay lays an egg in what was supposed to be their tune up for the regular season.
Marc Denis allowed 4 goals on 14 shots for the loss before giving way to Johan Holmqvist who allowed 1 goal on 18 shots.
No matter how you slice this, tonight's result was disappointing considering this supposedly was the lineup John Tortorella wants in place on opening night. The poor result was further compounded by more injury issues as forward Nick Tarnasky had his nose broken in a fight and defenseman Paul Ranger left the game with a minor shoulder injury.
Right now the Lightning have nothing resembling continuity in their forward lines or their defensive pairings due to injuries resulting in precious few opportunities for units to work together at game speed to get their timing. As a consequence the Lightning were outshot 32-23 tonight and, frankly, there are no quick fixes. The Lightning will have to try to get healthy again and grind it out over the first few weeks of the season and try to keep their heads above water while the rust and the growing pains are shaken off.
The Lightning were fortunate to have dressed an extra defenseman tonight and Paul Ranger's minutes were partially absorbed by the three headed monster of Mike Lundin, Matt Smaby, and Doug Janik. Unfortunately, the three were a combined -5 in the game.
Lundin led the group in ice time with 20:27 but was -2 with no shots on goal and no hits for the contest. Smaby had the second most ice time at 14:36 and was -1 with 1 hit. Janik brought up the rear with 12:32 of ice time and a -2 rating. Both Smaby and Janik also took penalties for tripping and hooking, respectively.
Erik Erlendsson has another blog post today noting that veteran AHLers Bryce Lampman, Kyle Wanvig, and Mathieu Darche have been put on waivers with a view toward reassigning them to Norfolk of the AHL. Erlendsson goes on to speculate this may mean that contrary to prior statements by the Lightning, they may carry 21 into the regular season meaning both prospects Mike Lundin and Matt Smaby may make the opening night roster.
Hat tip to Randy from Admirals Zone for bringing it to my attention.