When Mike Smith signed with Edmonton in free agency, the move raised some eyebrows. He was coming off a season that saw him post the lowest save percentage of his career and with Mikko Koskinen having several question marks, some were expecting the Oilers to add a more proven goaltending option. Instead, he has rebounded quite nicely and has posted the second-highest point total among NHL netminders since January while helping Edmonton get into second place in the Pacific Division. As a result, Sportsnet’s Mark Spector suggests that the soon-to-be 38-year-old has done enough to warrant another one-year deal for next season. Despite the strong record since the turn of the calendar to 2020, his overall numbers on the season (2.95 GAA, .902 SV%) aren’t the best so the Oilers may be able to get him cheaper than his current price tag of a $2MM base salary plus another $1.75MM in performance bonuses ($500K of which have been reached so far).
More from the West:
- While there aren’t any games being played, college players can still sign deals and that where Minnesota’s focus appears to be at the moment. GM Bill Guerin told Sarah McLellan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that they are currently involved in talks for a few players. However, he also mentioned that he has no intention of merely stockpiling players given the uncertainty for next season. With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine that they’ll sign all of their targets but perhaps a deal can be reached with one or two of them.
- From the same interview, Guerin stated that he’s quite pleased with how Dean Evason has performed as the interim head coach so far but that he’s not prepared to change his status at this time to the permanent role. He acknowledged that he isn’t speaking to anyone else about the spot at the moment thanks to the current travel restrictions in place and that a final decision will come at the end of the season.