It’s still not known if the Phoenix Coyotes will start the 2013-14 campaign with a new owner or, for that matter, play another game in Glendale, but their goaltending situation is getting much clearer.
Mike Smith is close to inking a six-year extension with the Phoenix Coyotes worth around $5.7 million annually, according to TSN’s DarrenDreger.
If he’s not re-signed, Smith will become an unrestricted free agent on July 5. The 31-year-old previously admitted that the uncertainty about the ownership situation was a consideration in these negotiations.
That being said, it helped matters when the Coyotes re-signed coach Dave Tippett, based on an Arizona Republic report.
Smith broke out in 2011-12 with a 2.21 GAA and .930 save percentage in 67 games. However, he was less consistent in 2013 and ended up with a 2.58 GAA and .910 save percentage in 34 starts.
If he’s off the market, then the best unrestricted free agent goaltenders could be Ray Emery, Evgeni Nabokov, and Ilya Bryzgalov.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.