Coyotes trade goalie Mike Smith to Flames

Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith watches a puck as it sails wide of the net during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis

Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith watches a puck as it sails wide of the net during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis

It's a deal that supposed to finally deliver the Flames that elusive No. 1 netminder, but just sort of looks like management is crossing its fingers after previous failed attempts to solidify the most important position on the roster. But the Flames are banking on Smith's numbers being reflective of Arizona's beleaguered team defense - one that has routinely exposed its netminders - not his capabilities in the twilight of his career. On a one-year deal and coming off a strong playoff run with the Blues, Elliott had an up-and-down season that ended with a horrific playoff run. The Flames had both the departing Johnson and Brian Elliott under one-year contracts this year, so adding Smith - who spent the past six seasons in Arizona - was a necessary course of action, as prospect Jon Gillies may be ready for the big stage, but not necessarily the No. 1 role.

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.

The 21-year-old Hickey recorded four goals and 11 assists in 35 games as a junior with Boston University in 2016-17.

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The Coyotes can protect Johnson in the expansion draft, though there is no certainty about whether they'll re-sign the 31-year-old or let him test the market July 3. Smith did lead the Coyotes to the Western Conference final in 2012.

Online reports suggested the Coyotes might retain some of Smith's salary in the exchange but that aspect has not been confirmed. But in this expansion summer, it's hard to imagine that a cheaper, lower-risk option with more upside wasn't available.

It's possible Smith's numbers go up a little bit playing behind a much better team in Calgary but I still don't like this deal for the Flames.

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