The Arizona Coyotes have worked out another trade before the trade freeze today as they’ve shipped out goaltender Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames in exchange for assets. Both of the Flames goaltenders from last season in Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson are unrestricted free agents and it’s not known whether one of them will re-sign.
The trade is not quite official, but Bob McKenzie reports that a trade call has been scheduled. It appears the Coyotes will be retaining 25% of Smiths salary and cap hit. They also get prospect Brandon Hickey and a conditional third round pick.
The rights to Chad Johnson are also going to Arizona, and the Coyotes will protect him in the expansion draft. The Coyotes were required to protect at least one goalie and had no goalies with more than two years of pro experience eligible for protection after the trade.
CGY/ARI have agreed to terms on trade involving G Mike Smith and have scheduled a trade call with league, tho nothing official until then.
Assuming trade call gets done, ARI to retain 25 per cent of Smith's salary. CGY will send rights to Brandon Hickey + conditional 3rd rder…
Full Mike Smith deal is for Chad Johnson, Brandon Hickey and a third that becomes a second if CAL makes playoff. ARIZ retains 25% of salary.
Mike Smith Traded to Calgary Flames
Calgary has been in the goaltending market for the last few years and thought they were getting their future starter in Brian Elliott last season. It didn’t turn out that way as Elliott struggled mightly during the season and finished with a .910 save percentage. The season before that, he had a .930 save percentage so it was quite the drop off for Elliott in his first season in Calgary. Getting Smith will come with a price as his contract is pricy for the next two seasons. He’ll make an average salary of $5.66M per year for the next two years before he’s an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
His numbers haven’t been that good over the past five seasons. He has put up save percentages of .910, .915, .904, .916, and .914. That’s the definition of a league average goaltender as his best season came back in 2011-2012 when he had a .930 save percentage. However that may not be the whole story, as Smith has been playing behind a poor Coyotes team for many of those years.
Many say ES SV% is a better indicator of a goalie's ability. Of 52 goalies with >40 starts the last 2 seasons, Mike Smith ranks 11th (.927).
His 5V5 save percentage this year was .924 which isn’t bad considering that he was on a team that wasn’t contending for a playoff spot this season. The season before that, it was even better as it was .933 and that’s what Calgary will be looking for in him even though he’s 35 now. Getting Mike Smith is an interesting move for them but they’re contending each year for a playoff spot and hope to advance in the playoffs after getting swept by the Ducks.
Brandon Hickey is a 21-year-old defenceman who has spent the last three years at Boston University. He had four goals and 15 points in 35 games this season. Hickey was a third round pick, 64th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft.