Mike Smith

With Smith hurt, Phoenix to recall ’10 first-rounder Visentin


With three games in the next five nights, the Phoenix Coyotes are primed to call up Mark Visentin from AHL Portland as a replacement for injured goalie Mike Smith.

Smith, who suffered a lower-body injury that forced him from Monday’s 4-3 OT loss to the Rangers, won’t play in tonight’s game versus Pittsburgh and there’s no word on his availability for Thursday’s game in New Jersey.

Here’s the latest on his health, from Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan:

Phoenix cannot afford to lose Smith for any significant length of time. Monday’s game in New York was his 12th consecutive start, and he’s been very good since winning gold with Team Canada at the Winter Olympics — Smith went 7-4 in March prior to the Rangers game, posting a .924 save percentage while allowing three goals or fewer in 10 of 11 contests.

As for Visentin, the 21-year-old was Phoenix’s first-round selection (27th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He’s 14-19-5 with the Pirates this season, with a .901 save percentage and 3.30 GAA. He’ll back up Thomas Greiss for the time being.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.