Mike Smith’s season looks to be over, at least for the foreseeable future. The Phoenix Coyotes have placed their netminder on injured reserve and while they’re not ruling out a return in the playoffs for Smith, there is currently no timetable for his return to the team. The most interesting aspect of the whole situation is the fact that the Coyotes never made an announcement as a team that Smith was being placed on injured reserve, rather they did so very quietly.
Smith has been sidelined since he was bulldozed by Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler last Thursday and had been listed as day-to-day over the weekend. The Coyotes haven’t publicly changed that but Smith is listed on the team’s official roster as being on injured reserve, something the Coyotes aren’t looking forward to dealing with.
When Smith was destroyed by Edler on Thursday, it wasn’t the first time in a year that Smith had been hit by a defender. Back in the Coyotes playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks, Smith was clipped by Andrew Shaw on a play that was eventually ruled a charge and resulted in a suspension for Shaw. Edler was also suspended after Thursday’s hit, but the difference between the two is that Smith returned to the Blackhawks series and he’s been ruled out for the foreseeable future this season.
The Coyotes are making a playoff push and losing Smith isn’t going to make things any easier in a Western Conference that is really only separated by a few games.