It appears ongoing ownership woes with the Phoenix Coyotes have cause contract talks between the National Hockey League club and goaltender Mike Smith to stall. At least based on the comments of general manager Don Maloney.
“Our thought is to let the season play out,” Maloney told Fox Sports Arizona on Monday.
“Until our ownership is resolved, we’re going to table Mike’s contract and hope things work out later.”
Smith is the final year of a two-year, $4 million contract with the Coyotes.
Smith was sensational for the Coyotes last season, particularly in the playoffs. He not only backstopped the Coyotes to an appearance in the Western Conference final, but he did so with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage, which was third among NHL goalies during the post-season.
His numbers to begin the 2013 regular season aren’t exactly on the same level – he’s boasting a 6-5-2 record and a 2.68 GAA – but he also has three shutouts this month.
The Coyotes did announce a signing Monday.
Phoenix re-signed 25-year-old defenseman David Schlemko to a two-year, $2.375 million deal.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”
The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.
Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.
It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.
Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.
He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.
Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.
If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.
The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.
The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.