"We are pleased to announce this agreement with Matt. He is big, physical and really skates well for a man that stands 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. He played well for us last season and I expect his personal development to continue in 2009-10."
-- Lightning GM Brian Lawton
The Tampa Bay Lightning
avoided arbitration with defenseman Matt Smaby
today, signing him to a two-year contract, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton
"We are pleased to announce this agreement with Matt today," said Lawton upon making the announcement. "He is big, physical and really skates well for a man that stands 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. He played well for us last season and I expect his personal development to continue in 2009-10."
Smaby, 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, has played in 57 career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay. He has recorded four assists and averaged 17:22 in ice time during his career. Smaby made his NHL debut last season after being recalled on March 17, 2008. He has played in 149 AHL games with the Norfolk Admirals and Springfield Falcons, recording five goals and 28 points with 139 penalty minutes.
A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Smaby played in a career-high 43 games with the Lightning last season, recording a career-best four assists and 50 penalty minutes. His 19:05 average ice time was also the highest of his career and was fourth among NHL rookie defensemen with 20 or more games played. Smaby ranked fourth on the Lightning in hits with 122 and blocked hots with 68. He was recalled to Tampa Bay on December 27 and finished the season with the Lightning despite suffering a broken bone in his foot. Smaby recorded his first NHL point with an assist December 27 against Florida.
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