The Phoenix Coyotes have been the subject of relocation rumors this summer but fans got a bit of good news on Saturday night when TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the team is close to re-signing netminder Mike Smith to a contract worth around $34.2 million over the next six years.
Smith’s extension with the Coyotes is still being finalized. Sounds like closer to $5.7 per year x 6 yrs.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 30, 2013
Smith was initially hesitant to agree to a deal — and he technically still hasn’t agreed to anything– with the team due to the uncertainty about the franchise’s future but Smith apparently likes the numbers he’s hearing and is happy with the fact that head coach Dave Tippet was retained in the offseason.
He hit a little bit of a rough patch in the 2013 season but he displayed his brilliance in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs as well has showing flashes during the Coyotes campaign last season. Phoenix has until July 5th to work out a deal with Smith as that’s the deadline for players with expiring contracts to agree to a new contract before becoming free agent.
Smith would becomes an unrestricted free agent if he can’t come to terms with the Coyotes and even at age 31, he’d likely get a few respectable offers from teams searching for a veteran netminder.
That being said, he might not get a sweeter deal than what the Coyotes are reportedly offering him and this one might be done well before the deadline starts to put pressure on things.