Brad Treliving’s latest attempt to solve Calgary’s goalie situation might feature a familiar face.
Per Sportsnet, the Flames and Coyotes are working on a deal that would see netminder Mike Smith head to Calgary. If so, it’d be a reunion of sorts — Treliving was Don Maloney’s assistant GM in Arizona, most notably when Smith inked a six-year extension back in 2013.
It’s been confirmed by multiple outlets including TSN’s Bob McKenzie and the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan.
The Flames’ side
Arizona retains 25 percent of Mike Smith’s salary, according to McKenzie. Smith enters 2017-18 as Calgary’s expected starter, and this likely takes the Flames out of the Marc-Andre Fleury bidding war.
The Coyotes receive prospect Brandon Hickey, a conditional third-rounder and the rights to goalie Chad Johnson. McLellan has more:
More on Smith
Smith, 35, posted a .914 save percentage this season after facing the sixth highest amount of shots against (1,819) among all NHL goalies. And that came in just 55 games played, indicative of the young and rebuilding team Smith was playing behind.
The veteran netminder is entering the fifth year of the aforementioned six-year, $34 million contract that has an annual cap hit of $5.666 million. If the Coyotes indeed retain 25 percent of his cap hit, the Flames would be on the hook for approximately $4.25 million for the next two seasons.
Smith’s name surfaced in rumors earlier this month. Arizona GM John Chayka later responded to the trade speculation, per Arizona Sports. He spoke highly of Smith, but seemed open to the idea of a possible trade — provided the return is to his liking.
“If it’s being viewed as me making Mike available and starting a bidding war, that’s not the case,” said Chayka. “We’re taking calls on players every year. I don’t think anyone is untradeable but like we talked about last year with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, he’s up as high on that list as anyone.”
As mentioned above, Calgary has been looking for the right fit in net for quite some time. Since Treliving came on board in 2014, the club has used Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo, Joni Ortio, Niklas Backstrom, Chad Johnson and Brian Elliott, all with limited success.
Johnson and Elliott are both currently unrestricted free agents.
If this deal goes through, Smith would be a “bridge” option to hold down the starting gig until one of Calgary’s good young goalie prospects — Jon Gillies, Mason McDonald or Tyler Parsons — is ready to compete at the NHL level.