Coyotes ownership mess could keep Mike Smith from re-signing

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Phoenix Coyotes free agent-to-be goalie Mike Smith would like to stay with the team, but there’s a bit of a road block for him committing to that.

The lack of an owner in the desert is a bit of a problem for the 31 year-old veteran and he tells Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic that if the situation gets fixed up soon he may want to return.

“The biggest part about me signing back here will be: Is the ownership group coming in, is this going to be a place that free agents are going to want to come and play and are they going to spend the money to make this a better team on an every-year basis?” Smith said. “I think that’s the most intriguing piece of the puzzle.”

Smith goes on to say he would’ve had a deal done with GM Don Maloney by now if things were settled and there’d be no worries at all. As it is, the NHL is trying for the fourth year in a row to find someone willing and able to buy the team from them. If the latest group, Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, can close the deal perhaps they’ll have a goalie to go with it as well.