Pierre LeBrun of TSN in both Insider Trading and on Twitter that the Arizona Coyotes are indeed listening to offers on goaltender Mike Smith, despite calling him their “rock” recently. LeBrun reports that at least three teams, including the Calgary Flames, have already made inquiries. Smith, who has a no-trade clause that allows him to block deals to eight teams has recently submitted his new list.
All season, GM John Chayka has spoken about how he isn’t keen on trading Smith as he considers solid goaltending to be part of the development process. That said, he’s willing to admit that if someone offers them something substantial for the goaltender he’d have to listen. The Coyotes, who will likely want to stop rebuilding and contend for the playoffs in the very near future, have to decide whether Smith can be effective when they’re ready to do just that. Already 35-years old, Smith is coming off an All-Star season and has two years remaining on his contract. He may still have some substantial value, especially to teams like Calgary who think they can contend for the Stanley Cup with some improvement in net.
Smith has been in Arizona for six seasons, putting up a solid .916 over that time and even garnering Vezina votes in 2012. If he were moved, the goaltending torch could be passed to Louis Domingue, though it’s not clear he has the ability to be an above average starter in the league. The Coyotes also have Adin Hill on the way, but it will still be several years until he’s ready for an impact role with the team.
On Calgary in particular, LeBrun mentions that he thinks their first choice would be Marc-Andre Fleury. There have been many reports that Fleury is already ticketed for Vegas, but perhaps the Flames could come in and offer even more for him at the last minute. When Ben Bishop and Scott Darling were traded for and signed by Dallas and Carolina respectively, it removed two other options from the Flames’ board, leaving players like Smith as a sort of back-up plan should they be unable to land anyone else.