Earlier today, it was reported that the Phoenix Coyotes were in the process of negotiating a new contract with goalie Mike Smith. The details of the new contract have now been reported: a six-year deal where Smith will be earning about $5.7 million per season. The deal has yet to be approved by the brass of the NFL, but it is expected to go through.
Smith, age thirty-one, had been a backup before taking over the starting spot for Pheonix in 2011-2012, a year when he lead the team to the Western Conference finals. He had spent the previous six years playing for the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It is expected that Smith, had he chosen to test the free agency market, would have generated interest from many teams. While he only went 15-2-15 during the 2012-2013 season, allowing 2.58 goals-against average, his 2011-2012 campaign was stellar: 38 wins, a .930 save percentage, and a 2.21 goals-against average. He also tied a franchise record by recording eight shutouts. His performance helped the Coyotes win their first division title in over three decades. This past lockout-shortened season, the Coyotes finished a tantalizing four points out of the final playoff spot in the West.
Even though the team may be relocated out of Phoenix, Smith wanted to stay loyal to the franchise.