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November 16, 2009

Lightning Send Craig, Smaby to Admirals


TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have reassigned forward Ryan Craig to the Admirals and have assigned defenseman Matt Smaby to the Admirals on a conditioning loan, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today.

Craig, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound left wing from Abbotsford, British Columbia, was tied for the Admirals team lead in goals and points when he was recalled by the Lightning on November 5. In three games with the Lightning, Craig notched five shots and five penalty minutes. In 11 games with the Admirals this season, Craig registered seven goals and two assists for nine points and a +3 rating.

Craig has appeared in 182 career AHL contests between the Hershey Bears, Springfield Falcons and Norfolk, scoring 53 goals and adding 36 assists. He played two games with the Admirals on a conditioning stint during the 2007-08 season and recorded a goal and two assists.

Craig appeared in 54 games for the Lightning last season recording two goals and four assists. The 27-year-old, seventh-year pro has appeared in 184 career NHL games – all with the Lightning – with 32 goals and 31 assists in those games. Craig was selected by the Lightning in the eighth round, 255th overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Smaby, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, returns to the Admirals for his second conditioning stint this season. He appeared in three games with the Admirals after being assigned on October 7, registering six shots and two penalty minutes before being recalled on October 19. Smaby has not appeared in a game for the Lightning so far this season.

Smaby split last season between the Admirals and Lightning. He appeared in 25 games with Norfolk, recording two goals, four assists and 30 penalty minutes. In a career-high 43 NHL games with the Lightning last season, Smaby posted his first four NHL points with four assists and added 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 has appeared in 57 career NHL games with the Lightning with four assists and 62 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 152 career AHL games between the Admirals and Springfield Falcons, recording five goals and 23 assists with 141 penalty minutes. Selected in the second round, 41st overall by the Lightning at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Smaby played three seasons for the University of North Dakota (2003-04 through 2005-06), captaining teams that reached the NCAA Frozen Four in consecutive seasons.

The Admirals will play game three of their season-long eight-game road trip against the Portland Pirates tomorrow night at 7:00. All Admirals games can be heard on STAR 1310-AM and star1310.com. They can also be seen on a pay-per-view basis on ahllive.com.

The Admirals will return to Scope on Friday and Saturday, November 27 and 28, to square off against the Albany River Rats. The puck drops both nights at 7:15 p.m. On November 27, the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a free Admirals mousepad courtesy of Your Community PhoneBook. For details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.

To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster online at ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2009-10 season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!

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