Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Flames trade for goalie Mike Smith prior to trade freeze

Flames trade for goalie Mike Smith prior to trade freeze

It's possible Smith's numbers go up a little bit playing behind a much better team in Calgary but I still don't like this deal for the Flames.

Meanwhile, the Flames registered 94 points but were swept in the first round of the postseason by the Anaheim Ducks.

Online reports suggested the Coyotes might retain some of Smith's salary in the exchange but that aspect has not been confirmed. But the Flames are banking on Smith's numbers being reflective of Arizona's beleaguered team defense - one that has routinely exposed its netminders - not his capabilities in the twilight of his career.

The Calgary Flames grabbed the headlines in the hours leading up to the NHL's transaction freeze for the Vegas Golden Knights' Expansion Draft, acquiring Mike Smith from the Arizona Coyotes. Last year's tandem, Brian Elliott and Johnson, was an upgrade over the previous year's trio (Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio). While Elliott general had a very poor season, he did excel in the months of February and March, posting save percentages of.922 and.936 respectively in those months while only allowing 45 goals in 22 games in that span.

The 35-year-old netminder is coming off a 2016-2017 campaign with the Arizona Coyotes in which he posted a record of 19-26-9 with a goals against average of 2.92 and a save percentage of 0.914. If the Flames had elected to sign Elliott to an extension, the team would have sent a third round 2018 draft pick to the St. Louis Blues as a condition of the June 2016 trade that brought Elliott to Calgary. Those totals aren't the worst, but they also aren't indicative of a premier starting goaltender in the National Hockey League, especially coming off of a season where he went 23-8-6 with a 2.07 goals against average and a.930 save percentage in St. Louis just one year prior. Smith did lead the Coyotes to the Western Conference final in 2012.

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