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Joe Smith, Times Staff Writer

Joe Smith

Joe Smith became the Tampa Bay Lightning beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times in 2014. He spent the previous six years splitting time covering the Rays, Bucs and Lightning He joined the Times in 2006 after spending two years with the Modesto Bee in California, where he did everything from covering the Single-A Modesto Nuts minor league baseball team and high school football to tackling first-person stories on whitewater rafting and adventure racing. Smith grew up in the Detroit suburbs and attended the University of Michigan, where he covered the football, basketball and hockey teams for the Michigan Daily. He freelanced for the Associated Press and Detroit Free Press before securing internships at Crain's Detroit Business and the Raleigh News & Observer. An avid runner, Smith loves traveling, bowling and singing karaoke.

Phone: (813) 310 9024

Email: joesmith@tampabay.com

Blogs:

Lightning Strikes

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  1. Is Mikhail Sergachev, who debuts with Lightning at Wednesday camp, ready for the NHL?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was taken ninth overall by the Canadiens in the 2016 NHL draft, a horde of Montreal media surrounded him for his first news conference.

    That would be overwhelming for most teenagers, especially a Russian who had only been in North America a couple of years.

    But Sergachev, 19, stole the show.

    When asked if he was ready for this, Sergachev's response was quick and dry: "Is Montreal ready for me?" ...

    Mikhail Sergachev takes a shot during warmups prior to a game between the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes in October in Montreal. [Getty Images]
  2. Top Lightning pick Cal Foote: It's 'starting to feel more real'

    Blog

    For Lightning first round pick Cal Foote, this is where it started to sink in.

    Foote, 18, picked 14th overall Friday in the NHL Draft, put on a Lightning jersey and practiced during the opening day of the development camp at the Ice Sports Forum. He met with staff members and executives, went through testing and drills....

    Cal Foote was picked 14th overall by the Lightning in the NHL Draft.
  3. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    "Every time he came up I thought he was a Hall of Famer," Bowman told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday. "I knew he was going to get in."

    Finally.

    Andreychuk, 53, got the call around 2 p.m. Monday on the way to pick up his wife from the airport and had to pull over. After all, that call hadn't come his first eight years eligible. "Obviously my heart started to race immediately," Andreychuk said. "I was completely thrilled."...

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Having been demoted from the AHL to ECHL, he took up civil engineering as a fallback.

    That's what makes Gourde's two-year, one-way deal with the Lightning on Monday such a gratifying, meaningful moment for the undrafted, 5-foot-9 forward. Gourde, 25, who seized his moment with six goals in 20 games as a call-up last season, played his way into Tampa Bay's plans, getting $1 million a year....

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. Scotty Bowman says 'it's about time' Andreychuk got HOF call

    Blog

    For Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, Dave Andreychuk finally being part of a Hall of Fame class is especially gratifying.

    Bowman drafted Andreychuk in the first round (16th overall) in 1982, coaching the 6-foot-4 power forward the first five seasons of his career. And now Bowman, who is part of the HOF selection committee, got to see it through that Andreychuk is going to the Hall of Fame....

    Scotty Bowman drafted Dave Andreychuk in the first round (16th overall) in 1982 and coached him the first five seasons of his career.
  6. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame (w/photo gallery)

    Blog

    Dave Andreychuk said Monday began "business as usual."

    He arrived at Amalie Arena at 8:30 a.m., reporting for work in his role as Lightning VP of corporate and community affairs.

    "Not knowing that this was the day," he said.

    Finally.

    For Andreychuk, 53, Monday is a day he'll never forget. The former Lightning captain got the news he'll be going into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It had been a long wait, Andreychuk eligible for the HOF since 2009....

    Dave Andreychuk battles Calgary's Andrew Ference during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.
  7. Lightning re-sign Yanni Gourde to two-year, one-way deal

    Blog

    Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fightning to stay in pro hockey.

    Having been demoted from the AHL to ECHL, he took up civil engineering as a fallback.

    That's what makes Gourde's two-year, one-way deal with the Lightning Monday such a gratifying, meaningful moment for the undrafted, 5-foot-9 forward. Gourde,  25, who seized his moment with six goals in 20 games as a callup last season, played his way into Tampa Bay's plans, getting $1 million a year....

    Yanni Gourde seized his moment with six goals in 20 games as a callup last season.
  8. Lightning re-signs Andrej Sustr to one-year, $1.95 million deal

    Blog

    The Lightning locked up another piece of its blueline Monday, re-signing defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year, $1.95 million deal.

    Sustr, 26, was a restricted free agent coming off his fourth full season in the NHL. He had 14 points in 80 games last season, a minus-10.

    "I was hoping to get it done, sooner than later," Sustr said. "And I'm pretty happy, now I can focus on training."...

    Andrej Sustr 14 points in 80 games last season, a minus-10.
  9. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blog

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    That's easy to do for Boyle, whose wife, Lauren, gave birth to their second child, daughter Isabella, on May 24. On Sunday, Boyle, 32, played in the backyard of his Hingham, Mass home with his three-year-old son, Declan. But Boyle took some time to talk to the Tampa Bay Times about his future. ...

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.
  10. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    And it sounds like Tampa Bay is kicking the tires on the biggest fish in the free agent market, veteran defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

    The Lightning is one of many teams that checked in with Shattenkirk on Sunday. The window for teams to court pending unrestricted free agents opened at midnight Saturday....

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  11. Lightning reach out to UFA Kevin Shattenkirk

    Blog

    Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blueline and adding another wing or two.

    And it sounds like Tampa Bay is kicking the tires on the biggest fish in the free agent market, veteran defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

    The Lightning is one of many teams who checked in with Shattenkirk Sunday, per sources. The window for teams to court pending unrestricted free agents opened at midnight....

  12. Lightning announce development camp schedule

    Blog

    Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev headlines a roster of top Lightning prospects that will attend this week's development camp at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon.

    The camp, which runs Tuesday through Saturday, is free and open to the public.

    The first practice starts at 11 a.m. Tuesday, with drills doing until 3 p.m. There is a 3-on-3 tournament Friday (2 p.m.-4) and Saturday (11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.). Russian wing Alex Vokov, the second round pick Saturday, will also not arrive until Wednesday....

  13. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    You can see how expensive that type of player is. The Flames sent their 2018 first- and second-round picks plus another second-rounder to the Islanders for Travis Hamonic on Saturday. The Wild's Marco Scandella is drawing interest from several teams, including Tampa Bay....

    Head shot of Times staffer Joe Smith. Joe Smith is the Tampa Bay Lightning beat writer for the sports department. Staffer mug shot taken in Times studio on Tuesday (06/20/17).
  14. Lightning journal: Russian forwards top Day 2 draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — After taking a big, right-shot defenseman in the first round, the Lightning's second day of the draft was headlined by a few skilled Russian forwards.

    Tampa Bay selected 6-foot-1 wing Alexander Volkov, 19, in the second round (No. 48 overall) Saturday, hoping to sign him and send him to AHL Syracuse next season. In the third round, the Lightning was thrilled to have C Alexey Lipanov, 17, fall to No. 76....

    Forward Alexey Lipanov is taken in the third round.
  15. Lightning opens day two of draft by taking Russian forwards

    Blog

    After taking a big, right-shot defenseman in the first round, the Lightning's second day of the NHL Draft was headlined by a couple skilled Russian forwards.

    Tampa Bay selected 6-foot-1 winger Alexander Volkov in the second round (No. 48), with hopes to sign him and send him to AHL Syracuse next season. In the third round, the Lightning was thrilled to have center Alexei Lipanov fell to them at No. 76....