Coyotes Trade Mike Smith to Flames

The Calgary Flames announced on Saturday that they have acquired goaltender Mike Smith from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for UFA Chad Johnson unsigned prospect Brandon Hickey and a conditional 3rd round draft pick

He has two years remaining on a six-year, $34 million contract. The deal may not make complete sense for the Calgary Flames, but for Smith it represents a new opportunity to compete in the National Hockey League after years of representing mediocre teams in Arizona.

He added that Smith was one of the more expensive options for the Coyotes and that may have held the team back from being able to build around their younger talent. In Calgary, he'll anchor one of the league's most talented defenses, led by Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton and T.J. Brodie. Hickey, a 21-year-old defenseman who was drafted in the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, has spent the last three seasons with Boston University. But greater support carries no promise of success.

Johnson, 31, had an 18-15-1 record with a 2.59 goals-against average and a.910 save percentage with the Flames in 2016-17.

The Arizona Coyotes are reportedly nearing a deal to trade veteran goaltender Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames. Elliott overcame a slow start to put together a quality regular season on behalf of the Flames, but he faltered in the playoffs during a four-game sweep at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks.

By making this deal now, knowing the Golden Knights could end up with a surplus of tradable netminders, Flames general manager Brad Treliving has to believe that Smith won't simply perform, but thrive under better circumstances. On the surface, Smith hardly seems like an upgrade from either Elliott or Johnson.

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Organizationally, the hope is that Smith cannot only help the Flames get to the playoffs, but that they can then do some damage once they're there. Brian Elliott was solid, but he did not do almost enough to make the Flames competitive in the playoffs.

The Coyotes will retain 25 percent of Smith's salary, according to Craig Morgan.

It is hard to imagine Johnson doing much more than what he did in Calgary. Smith is the Arizona franchise leader in shutouts, saves, and games played, and Elliott recently ripped off 11 straight wins late last season.

It's been mediocrity since for both the Flames and Smith, whose difficulties became entwined with Calgary's curious decision in goal.

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