Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

Flames discussing trade with Coyotes for Smith

GLENDALE AZ- APRIL 08 Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith skates to the puck during the NHL hockey game between the Minnesota Wild and the Arizona Coyotes Kevin Abele Icon Sportswire
Spencer Simpson | 19 June, 2017, 01:34

Still, Smith was playing in behind a Coyotes team that was leaving him responsible for backstopping the team to just about any win they may have gotten last season.

Smith has been up and down since then then, struggling with injuries and inconsistencies at times as the Coyotes failed to reach the playoffs in five straight seasons.

The Coyotes retained 25 per cent of Smith's salary in the deal, and they now have about $30 million in cap space for next season - in addition to newly acquired prospects and assets from these most recent trades. From a fantasy perspective, Smith could get a sizable boost in value since he's moving from the 27th ranked team in shorthanded situations to one that sat 12th with a stave-off rate of 81.6 percent.

In 55 games with the Coyotes this season, Smith posted a 19-26-9 record with a 2.92 goals-against-average, a.914 save percentage and three shutouts. "I feel like I'm coming off one of the better seasons of my National Hockey League career past year and just have learned a lot about my game over the course of the last six seasons in Arizona and throughout the course of my career".

The Kingston, Ont., native was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the 5th round of the 2001 NHL Draft. "We think he's still got a lot of gas left in the tank, and I think he's going to come in and help us". He's likely a few years away from making the Coyotes' roster on a full-time basis (if he ever gets there).

Coyotes GM John Chayka quickly pointed out that Smith is on the wrong side of his career at age 35.

"Mike Smith is a 35-year-old goaltender", Chayka said on a conference call. After four years with the Lightning, he signed as a UFA with Phoenix in 2011. "Sometimes, good goalies have bad years and average goalies have exceptional years", said Chayka.

The Arizona Coyotes have made a couple of notable trades in the past 24 hours, and while the league's trade/waiver freeze is in effect until Thursday, they may not be done dealing over the next few days and weeks.

A conditional third-round pick also goes the Flames' way, improving to a second-rounder if they make the playoffs this season.

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