The Oilers have found their second goaltender for next season and it’s a familiar one. The team announced (Twitter link) that they’ve signed Mike Smith to a one-year, $2MM contract. CapFriendly clarifies (via Twitter) that it’s a $1.5MM base salary plus $500K in performance bonuses that break down as follows:
$50K in games played bonuses at 20 games, 25, 30, 35, and 40
$125K if they win the first round of the playoffs and he plays in two games
$125K if they win the second round of the playoffs and he plays in two games
The 38-year-old is coming back for a second stint with Edmonton after he played there last season as the second option to Mikko Koskinen. While he slightly improved on his save percentage from 2018-19 by posting a .902 mark in 39 regular season games, his GAA jumped to 2.95, his highest since 2014-15.
Last weekend, GM Ken Holland indicated that they wanted to see what options there were on the open market before making a decision on what to do for that position for next season. However, with goalies flying off the board quickly, the remaining free agent options were all short-term possibilities at best. While a trade was certainly an option, they’ve instead opted to go back to someone that they already know.
Statistically speaking, Koskinen (.917 SV%, 2.75 GAA) out-performed Smith last season and given the latter’s age, it’s reasonable to expect that Koskinen will take on a bigger share of the workload after getting the smaller portion in 2019-20. His first time in that situation came in 2018-19 and the results were mixed although he does now have more NHL experience at least.
Following this move and the addition of Tyson Barrie, Edmonton now has just over $700K in cap room per CapFriendly with defenseman Ethan Bear still in need of a new deal. However, the Oscar Klefbom injury will likely make him LTIR-bound which should free up some short-term wiggle room when the season gets underway.