I think he's totally lacking in confidence at the NHL level. He was very highly touted as a prospect, so there's a lot of pressure on him to succeed. His best stretch so far was his stint in 2012; he wasn't really expected to excel at that time, as he was only a call-up, and there was the extra comfort blanket of having Lidstrom around. Now eyes and pressure are on him and he needs to be good, and I think that weighs on him substantially.
I think keeping smith in the AHL for the 11-12 season is shaping up to be a major blunder. A full season of development, with lids as a partner, would have been excellent for smiths development.
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