Summer is a time for trade rumors in the NHL. That’s been especially true heading into the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft scheduled for June 21st as teams are forced to leave valuable players unprotected and risk losing them without any kind of return.
The Arizona Coyotes have apparently heard all of the trade rumors swirling around goaltender Mike Smith and decided to respond. In a recent interview with Arizona Sports, Coyotes GM John Chayka discussed Smith’s value both in a potential trade as well as remaining in the crease as the starting goaltender for the club. Chayka reaffirmed his confidence in Smith and said that while no player in untouchable, Smith is the team’s rock.
“If it’s being viewed as me making Mike available and starting a bidding war, that’s not the case. We’re taking calls on players every year. I don’t think anyone is untradeable but like we talked about last year with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, he’s up as high on that list as anyone.
There’s a value to our team that Mike has, being an All-Star and our rock. His value is extremely high but if someone wants to pay an even higher value for him, that’s the industry.
Goaltending is such a premium position and Mike was as good as anyone in the league last year.”
In other words, it’d take a massive deal to pry Smith out of Arizona’s clutches. That’s not particularly surprising considering the Coyotes would need to fall back on Louis Domingue in the event of a Smith trade and that’s not the most attractive of options. Of course, a team could always make an offer the Coyotes can’t refuse though that seems unlikely in the wake of the expansion draft.
Despite the hot market for top goalies (when is there ever a cold market for a top goalie?), the Coyotes don’t appear to be in a situation where they could part with Smith despite a potential massive return.