The Edmonton Oilers have their starting goaltender in Jack Campbell, and now they have a third-string option as well. The Oilers are bringing in Calvin Pickard to play behind Campbell and Stuart Skinner on a two-year, two-way contract. The deal carries an average annual value of $762.5K
That leaves Mike Smith on the outside, and general manager Ken Holland updated the veteran’s status today. “I’m not expecting Smitty to play this year,” Holland told reporters including Jason Gregor of TSN, explaining why they needed someone like Pickard to come into the organization.
Smith, 40, is expected to move to long-term injured reserve as he deals with “several” chronic injuries. That will give the Oilers some additional cap flexibility, and potentially end Smith’s career after 670 regular season appearances. His overall record with Edmonton during that time was 56-27-10 with a .913 save percentage, helping the club all the way to the Western Conference Finals this year.
If it is the end, he finishes 36th all-time in games played by a goaltender, 40th all-time in wins. Not a Hall of Fame candidate, but a good goaltender for a very long time in the league.
Pickard, meanwhile, spent most of this season in the minor leagues, posting a .918 with the Grand Rapids Griffins. The 30-year-old has bounced around the league for the last decade, appearing in 116 NHL contests.
While he represents a solid minor league option, if he’s playing regularly for the Oilers this season they will be in trouble.