This in from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the Edmonton Oilers have resigned goalie Mike Smith on a two-year deal in the range of $2 million per year.
The Journal’s Jim Matheson noted: “Nothing from Oilers yet but if Smith is back on two-year deal that’s fine for Ken Holland. Cap is lower, and in 2nd year if he’s back-up playing 25 games, so be it. Still needs a 26 to 28 year old goalie as UFA (Ullmark?) or trade (Jarry?) though.”
1. Not everyone will love this deal, but I’m OK with it. Mike Smith arguably just had the best ever season we’ve seen from a 38-year-old goalie. Many of the goalies on this same last went on to have good years into their early 40s. There’s a chance Smith can do the same. Even if he’s not as stellar as he was last year, he will likely be an adequate back-up goalie for Edmonton in the next two years. And if he’s not that, the Oilers can bring up a cheap replacement goalie and not pay too high a price against the cap in burying Smith’s deal.
2. The odd thing about goalies on the aging curve is that the ones who are still good at age 38 can often be good for a few years, as seen with Dominik Hasek, who was a strong goalie until age 42, Jaques Plante, good until 43, George Hainsworth, good until 42, Gump Worsley, good until 42, and Martin Brodeur and Ed Belfour, good until 41.