Add another name to this offseason’s list of available NHL goaltenders: Mike Smith. According to NHL insider Nick Kypreos, The Arizona Coyotes netminder is receiving some trade interest from team’s throughout the NHL as the Coyotes attempt to transition to a younger roster for 2017-18.
The 35 year-old Smith has been with the Coyotes since the 2011-12 season and had found stability with the franchise after bouncing around a bit with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars. With the Coyotes taking a step back in their development in 2016-17, it’s expected that they’ll go even younger for next year and focus on development and the long-term future. Generally, this strategy means losing more games than winning and with Smith not getting any younger, it makes sense for him to move on to a team that’s closer to competing for a Stanley Cup in the short term.
"A lot of teams are asking Arizona about Mike Smith. Mike Smith of course wants to win now. The feeling in Arizona is they might go much younger. Talk is the salary cap might force them to be bottom-feeders, which means they might finally be ready to move Mike Smith."
While Kypreos wouldn’t name names, it doesn’t take much sleuthing to uncover a short list of teams who may be interested in Smith’s services. The Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets could all use a veteran starting goaltender next season and have the pieces required to facilitate a trade.