Welcome Mike Smith to the trade rumor mill

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There has already been a couple of big trades involving goaltenders this offseason.

Ben Bishop, a pending unrestricted free agent at the time, was traded to Dallas, and fellow pending UFA Scott Darling was sent to Carolina. Those clubs needed to address their goaltending going into next season, and took the steps to accomplish that with those deals.

Now, Mike Smith‘s name has been added to the trade rumor mill.

“A lot of teams are asking Arizona about Mike Smith,” said Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos during Game 3. “Mike Smith of course wants to win now. The feeling in Arizona is they might go much younger. Talk is the salary cap might force them to be bottom-feeders, which means they might finally be ready to move Mike Smith.”

Smith turned 35 years old in March. He posted a .914 save percentage this season after facing the sixth highest amount of shots against (1,819) among all NHL goalies. Out of the 10 goalies that faced the most amount of shots, Smith played the second fewest games at 55 — for a young and rebuilding team that finished with the second highest shots-against-per-game rate in the league.

The Coyotes finished 28th in the overall standings.

He’s entering the fifth year of his six-year, $34 million contract that has an annual cap hit of $5.666 million. His current contract also includes a no-trade clause, and he has in the past stated that he’s happy in Arizona.

“Obviously, everyone wants to be in a position to win and get in the playoffs and be a competitive team and that’s no different for me,” said Smith in January. “I think I want to be in a position to have a chance to win before my career’s over, but I feel like this is moving in the right direction. Things can turn around fairly quickly here. I want to be a big part of that.”

Smith has played six seasons for the Coyotes. They last made the playoffs in 2012, prompting Smith in April to voice his frustrations with losing season after losing season in Arizona.