The Edmonton Oilers should get a much-needed boost in goal as the team announced they have activated goaltender Mike Smith from long-term injured reserve. The team has played 13 games this season with starter Mikko Koskinen starting 12 of those 13 games. Stuart Skinner, the team’s backup all this time, has appeared in one game and now has been assigned to the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL.
Smith, who has missed the entire season so far with an undisclosed injury, should immediately provide the team a second NHL-caliber goaltender who can help share net duties rather than force Koskinen to play constantly. In the 12 games he’s played, Koskinen has a 5-7 record with a 3.52 GAA and a .889 save percentage — not numbers of a goalentender who should be playing every game.
Of course, the 38-year-old Smith didn’t exactly put up eye-catching numbers last year either. Smith played 39 games last season, posting a 2.95 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Regardless, those numbers would be quite a bit better than what the Oilers have seen so far this season. Smith is expected to start one of the team’s back-to-back games on Monday or Tuesday against Ottawa.
Smith signed a one-year, $1.5MM this offseason.