The Tampa Bay Lightning have claimed left wing Radek Smolenak off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced. He was claimed by Chicago from Tampa Bay on September 25, 2009 and played in one game with the Blackhawks, recording five penalty minutes.
Smolenak, 22, recorded two penalty minutes in two preseason games this year with Tampa Bay after making his National Hockey League debut with the club in 2008-09, posting one assist and 10 penalty minutes in six contests. The Prague, Czech Republic native ranked third on the American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals with 24 goals, fifth with 49 points and sixth with 25 assists – all career highs – in 71 games last season during his third professional campaign.
Tampa Bay’s second choice, 73rd overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Smolenak has racked up 281 penalty minutes and 75 points (39-36-75) in 147 career AHL tilts with the Springfield Falcons (2006-07) and Norfolk (2007-09). He has also notched 50 points (22-28-50) and 49 penalty minutes in 62 career ECHL games with the Johnstown Chiefs (2006-07) and Mississippi Sea Wolves (2007-08).
Prior to turning pro, Smolenak skated for two seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs from 2004 to 2006, posting 74 goals, 144 points and 167 penalty minutes in 132 games. He paced the club in goals (42) and finished third in both assists (42) and points (84) in his final season (2005-06).