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Lightning goalie Mike Smith clears waivers, next destination AHL

Feb 3, 2011, 6:01 PM EDT

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When Tampa Bay put Mike Smith on waivers yesterday, you knew things were going bad for the oft-injured former starting goalie. He missed chunks of time this season, like in previous seasons, with injuries and now with Dwayne Roloson around seizing the starting job, Smith was squeezed out of the mix.

Today, Smith cleared waivers and appears headed to the AHL to join the Norfolk Admirals. While the demotion helps Norfolk as Cedrick Desjardins is hurt there, for Smith it’s a tough blow. Smith is in the final year of his contract and set to become an unrestricted free agent next year. It was thought that the Islanders might think about claiming him, but it turned out they’d had their fill with goalie waiver drama with Evgeni Nabokov and wouldn’t pursue Smith.

Smith headed into this season competing with Dan Ellis for the starting job but both goalies went through fits of inconsistency leading to the Lightning starting off slowly. Now with Roloson in place and the team on top of the Southeast Division, Smith and his slightly larger contract are destined for the AHL.

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