The Anaheim Ducks resigned defenseman Matt Smaby to a one-year deal on Monday. Last season, he spent most of his time with the former AHL affiliate of the Ducks, the Syracuse Crunch. However, he missed much of the season after suffered a thumb injury that cost him three months of the season during the 2011 preseason.
Smaby, 27, a native of Minnesota, came to the Ducks last summer when he signed yet another one-year deal as a free agent. Before that, he spent his entire career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, going back to when they drafted him in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut back in 2007-2008 with the Lightning, but he has yet to play more than 43 games in a single season with an NHL franchise. He has spent a lot of time dealing with injuries and not much playing time. Last season with the Crunch, Smaby appeared in 30 games, tallying 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points with 46 PIM and +12.
Smaby has great size, 6’6″-227 lbs. He is another shutdown defenseman that loves to get physical. He is an intimidating defenseman out there that will hit anything in sight. His offensive game is virtually non-existent and doesn’t handle the puck very well. Last season, if it weren’t for his thumb injury, I thought he would have a spot on the Ducks roster. Now, the Ducks have the same number of defenseman pretty much, so I do think he can challenge for a spot, but if anything, he’ll either be a seventh defenseman for the Ducks or a starter for the Norfolk Admirals.
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