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Oilers Sign Goaltender Mike Smith To One Year Deal

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Mike Smith will need a bounce back season in Edmonton

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames
Oilers banking on rebound season from former Flames netminder
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a heck of a few days for Ken Holland. First he buys out Andrej Sekera to free up some cap space (presumably to make a move in the near future), he now shows that he’s a bit of a gambler.

The signing comes with a fair bit of risk.

Smith is brought in to compete with Mikko Koskinen for the starting job. You will recall Mikko Koskinen getting a three year deal at 4.5MM a year on the night before Peter Chiarelli was fired midway through a game against Detroit. I think Smith is going to compete for the starting job in 2019-20, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for either netminder.

DOLLARS AND SENSE

If the base of the deal is 2MM, that’s not bad. We’ll have to wait and see what the performances bonuses are to land 2MM more, hopefully a playoff berth is somewhere attached. In 42 games, Mike Smith finished with a .898 SV% in 2018-19 (that’s very poor), he carried a .906 SV% while at even strength. To compare, Mikko Koskinen fared a bit better than Smith last season. Koskinen had a .906 SV% on the year and a .913 SV% at evens. If none of that sounds impressive, it’s because it isn’t. Smith finished at 46th in SV% among goaltenders who appeared in at least a third of their club’s games in 2018-19, Koskinen finished 36th.

Mike Smith did not have a good season in 2018-19. The good news? He’s had a handful of good seasons before last season. The bad news? He will finish the 2019-20 season at 38 years of age, and it’s difficult to gauge whether or not last season was an anomaly at this point in his career.

The Oilers are taking a fair gamble with the signing of Smith. Barring an injury, he’s going to play at least a chunk of games for the Oilers in 2019-20. He’ll almost have to be better than last season, the $2 million dollar question is by how much?

Bonuses aside for the moment, if Smith can regain his 2015-2018 form, the signing will work for the Oilers.

If Smith kicks in another sub .910 performance, run for the hills.

BONUS!

Mike Smith’s performance bonuses could have him earning up to 3.75MM. He gets a bonus based on games played, and if the Oilers can step into the second season.

There’s a NTC, which. wow.