Mike Smith will remain in Edmonton. The unrestricted free agent goaltender has signed a new deal with the Oilers. It is a one-year deal worth $2 million dollars. The Oilers bring back both of their goalies from the 2019-20 season.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 10, 2020
Mike Smith Signs Deal
The 6′-5″ Smith is hoping to be a big presence this year after two “down” seasons. This past year he split duties with Mikko Koskinen, on the Edmonton Oilers. But he was clearly their second choice come the play-in round. Smith managed just over one period of play against the Chicago Blackhawks, allowing five goals in 27 minutes. To be fair, Chicago fired 23 shots on net in those 27 minutes. Any team giving up 50 shots a game isn’t going to win often, whoever the goalie is. But Smith was also off during the season with a .902 save percentage over 39 games. That number is slightly better than the one he had the previous year with the Calgary Flames. There, he had a .898 save percentage in 42 games – but that’s not why Edmonton signed him. In Calgary’s five-game ouster, Smith had a .917 save percentage, turning away 188 shots.
There was hope he could do the same in the bubble, but it’s hard to blame one man for the team being outplayed.
What This Means for the Future
At 38-years old, Smith won’t be called on to be the clear-cut starter. He’s at an age where short-term deals are the norm, so he wasn’t going to get four years. And after this off-season of cap limits and Musical Goalies, he’ll take what he can get. His age and mediocre numbers might make his signing a surprise for some fans. His 2019-20 contract was bonus-laden for a reason. Smith can split duties capably, however, carrying his team for a stretch if needed. He is still solid outside the net and able to move the puck to his skaters quickly. And after 14 seasons in the NHL, he’s not going to be surprised by much.
In what is likely a very compressed season, having that insurance policy is a comfort.