Mike Smith

Report: Coyotes close to re-signing Mike Smith


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 Darren Dreger.

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.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

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.