For Mike Smith, Friday's 13-hour drive from Norfolk, Va., to Tampa, in a packed car with pregnant wife Brigitte and golden retriever Berkley, was anything but relaxing.

The ride itself was fine, though Smith mostly stayed behind the wheel rather than fold his 6-foot-4 frame into a passenger seat pushed forward because of all the stuff in the back.

It was the uncertainty that drove him to distraction. Smith, with AHL Norfolk since Feb. 5, was on re-entry waivers. If he got through, he would be back with the Lightning. If claimed, he would be with his third team in four years. "My mind was in a million places," Smith said. "I was like, 'Where am I going? Where am I going to be?' I have a new family. It's a lot to go through mentally."

In contrast, convincing the Lightning - and any other team shopping for a free agent goalie this summer - that he is worth a look is straightforward. "You just have to do your job and play up to your capability," said Smith, who was not claimed and is Dwayne Roloson's backup. "When I do that, I'm tough to beat."