Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman talked to reporters Tuesday about having three goaltenders on the active roster and his desire to reduce that number.
The Lightning took a step towards alleviating the logjam in goal Wednesday. The club announced that goalie Mike Smith has been placed on waivers. Smith was set to compete with Dan Ellis for playing time behind the team's No. 1 guy -- the recently acquired Dwayne Roloson.
Yzerman said he's been exploring trade options, but also that sending one of them to the minors was in the discussion.
"I'm talking to teams every day, exploring options to see who has an interest or a need," he told Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times on Tuesday. "At some point goalies need to play. I don't want to keep guys around who aren't playing, so at some point we're probably going to have to make a decision on what we want to do."
Smith is the final year of his contract with a $2.2 million salary cap hit. If another team claims Smith, he would cost $780,645 against the cap from Thursday through the end of the season, according to capgeek.com.
Tampa Bay acquired Roloson from the New York Islanders in part because of the struggles in net from Ellis and Smith. Ellis and Smith rank 45th and 46th in save percentage this season out of 46 qualified goaltenders. Roloson is 8-3 in 11 games for the Lightning with a .932 save percentage, a 2.02 goals against average and four shutouts.