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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Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.