Smith target to be re-signed by Oilers, can become free agent


Mike Smith is a player the Edmonton Oilers want to re-sign for next season, general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday.

The 39-year-old goalie can become an unrestricted free agent July 28 after playing this season on a one-year contract.

“I told Mike we’ll get together … in 10 days or two weeks from now,” Holland said. “I’ll get out there (Kelowna) and talk to his agent, but yes, I do want to re-sign Mike Smith.”

Smith was 21-6-2 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .923 save percentage making 30 starts as the Oilers’ primary goalie ahead of Mikko Koskinen.

Video: WPG@EDM, Gm2: Smith stops Connor twice

Smith had a 2.40 GAA with a .912 save percentage losing four games when the Oilers were swept by the Winnipeg Jets in the Stanley Cup First Round. Two losses were in overtime and the last was in triple overtime.

“We were very disappointed we weren’t able to go longer, we had great expectations based on our regular season, but I’m also feeling that we made very good strides this season and things that we can build upon going forward,” Holland said.

Forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Alex Chiasson and Tyler Ennis, and defensemen Tyson Barrie, Adam Larsson and Dmitry Kulikov are Oilers who each can become an unrestricted free agent. Forwards Dominik Kahun, Jujhar Khaira, Devin Shore and Kailer Yamamoto can each become a restricted free agent.

Holland specifically mentioned trying to acquire secondary scoring this offseason. Forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the top two scorers in the NHL, accounted for 35.0 percent of Edmonton’s goals (64 of 183) and 39.7 percent of their assists (125 of 315) this season.

“We have lots of [NHL salary cap] space, but I have a lots of players to sign,” Holland said. “It’s not like we have all this cap space and have that to sign three players. A large part of our team, especially up front, their contracts are up. So they have to either be re-signed or we have to use that cap space and go to market.” independent correspondent Derek van Diest contributed to this report

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