Mike Smith’s tenure in Alberta’s capital is going to last a little bit longer.
This morning, the Edmonton Oilers made official a deal that was reported yesterday by Sportsnet that sees the veteran netminder sign a two-year deal worth $2 million per season.
The 2020-21 campaign was one that saw Smith turn back Father Time. The 39-year-old recorded a 21-6-2 mark with a .923 save percentage (good for fifth-best in the NHL) to go along with a 2.31 GAA that was sixth-best. He helped the Oilers to the second-best mark in the Scotia North Division and a playoff appearance.
Smith missed the first month of the 56-game season due to a leg injury, but he ended up making the most of it after a struggle of a campaign the year prior.
The multi-year deal and has raised some eyebrows when it comes to re-signing a goalie at the age of 39. The assumption most have is that Smith wouldn’t take on a starter’s role for 2021-22. To put Smith in the same spot as last year would be a bit of a gamble by the Oilers’ front office.
Smith, in a role where he can get between 20-25 starts next season, is something that’s much more manageable to work with as he shares the crease with a younger netminder acquired via free agency this summer.
The 2021 off-season is one that has quite a few attractive goaltending names that could replace Mikko Koskinen in a tandem with Smith and be the new starter in Edmonton. We’ll see where the Oilers take things from here.