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Calgary Flames

Mike Smith Acquired from the Arizona Coyotes to be the Calgary Flames’ New Starter

This is not the solution any of us were too excited about.



Well, after all the exciting possibilities of who could be the next starting goaltender for the Calgary Flames, the club has settled on… Mike Smith?

The Calgary Flames have acquired 35-year-old Mike Smith from the Arizona Coyotes, in exchange for prospect D Brandon Hickey, the rights to Chad Johnson and a conditional third rounder. Arizona will retain 25% of Smith’s salary.


Personally, I cannot say this was the approach I was hoping the Calgary Flames would take. I included Smith in my article the other day, of players that the Flames should probably look at avoiding. Now, he is a Calgary Flame.

I was more interested in an approach of focusing on a young goalie with upside, such as Antti Raanta, Phillip Grubauer or Calvin Pickard. While those possibilities remain, they will not be coming in as clear cut starters. Instead, the Flames will have a starter who is 35-years-old with an injury history.

Smith, has been excellent at times and completely terrible at other times, as illustrated in this tweet below.

Not a lot of consistency there, which is something the organization should truly be looking for after how things have gone in net the previous few seasons.

It is hard to see how Smith could be considered an upgrade at all on Brian Elliott. In fact, I would feel much more confident about Elliott being the starting goaltender next season and it would likely come at less of a cost. But the door is closed on Elliott being a part of the organization now.

Smith’s cap hit is $5.67 million for the next 2 seasons. With Arizona retaining 25%, the Flames will have him on the books for about $4.25 million a year. So the cap hit is not outrageous, but $4 million could have gotten a different goalie that could have been a better bet.

The only redeeming factor in all of this, is that the cost is not exorbitant. I was worried a first round pick would be involved, but at least that was avoided. Brandon Hickey is a solid prospect, but Brett Kulak, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington and Adam Fox are all ahead of him in the organizational depth chart. Further, Hickey is going back for his 4th year of NCAA hockey, so there is the possibility that he was not going to sign with the Flames and becoming a UFA. The third round pick becomes a second round pick if the Flames make the playoffs next season, so if this deal works out, it means the Flames will go consecutive years without a second round pick.

Meanwhile, apparently Chad Johnson wants to be a starter and that is probably something the Flames should not be banking on, although I do not know how much better it is to be banking on Smith.

by samwell9