Just about 90 minutes after the Oilers found out that Adam Larsson was leaving town, the club made significant progress with another pending UFA who apparently won’t be leaving Northern Alberta for a few years. First reported by Patrick Johnson of the ‘Vancouver Sun’, the Edmonton Oilers are closing in on a multi-year contract with goaltender Mike Smith.
‘Sportsnet’s’ Chris Johnston added to that report around 11:30 am eastern time, saying that it will be a two-year deal that will carry an AAV in the $2,000,000 range.
Smith has spent each of the past two seasons with the Oilers, with varying degrees of success each campaign. In 2019-20, Smith went 19-12-6 with a .902 save percentage, a 2.95 GAA and one shutout, which he actually lost in a 1-0 shootout against the Winnipeg Jets. Smith struggled mightily in November and December of that season, but was tremendous in January and February as the Oilers jumped to second in the Pacific Division prior to the COVID pause.
In 2020-21, after an early season injury, Smith enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career. He posted a 21-6-2 record with a .923 save percentage and a 2.31 GAA. Smith also tallied three shutouts as he helped lead the Oilers to a second place finish in the North Division.
Smith, however, has gone 0-5 in five playoff appearances with the Oilers over a two year span.
The Oilers are hoping to use Smith as part of a tandem in 2021-22. The club is continuing to scour the trade market in hopes of finding a deal for Mikko Koskinen. The Finnish netminder has one season remaining on his deal with a cap hit of $4,500,000. If the Oilers are able to shed Koskinen, the idea is to add a younger goaltender like a Linus Ullmark via free agency.