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Coyotes ownership mess could keep Mike Smith from re-signing

Jun 1, 2013, 11:42 AM EDT

Mike Smith AP

Phoenix Coyotes free agent-to-be goalie Mike Smith would like to stay with the team, but there’s a bit of a road block for him committing to that.

The lack of an owner in the desert is a bit of a problem for the 31 year-old veteran and he tells Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic that if the situation gets fixed up soon he may want to return.

“The biggest part about me signing back here will be: Is the ownership group coming in, is this going to be a place that free agents are going to want to come and play and are they going to spend the money to make this a better team on an every-year basis?” Smith said. “I think that’s the most intriguing piece of the puzzle.”

Smith goes on to say he would’ve had a deal done with GM Don Maloney by now if things were settled and there’d be no worries at all. As it is, the NHL is trying for the fourth year in a row to find someone willing and able to buy the team from them. If the latest group, Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, can close the deal perhaps they’ll have a goalie to go with it as well.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    I’d hope teams would be weary of giving Smith a big contract considering the struggles of a certain other former yotes goalie, once he left the security of Tippetts system. Not to mention the lack of media scrutiny in Arizona and the fact that Bryz had a far better career track record. Smith’s had ONE elite-level season and he’s asking $6-7 mil… that’s not an ideal FA goalie. Although it’s not “accepted”, teams would be far better off offering the RFA Rask that money considering Boston’s iffy cap situation.

  2. titansbro - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    No one will buy it if the NHL is going to force them to stay in the desert because they can’t make money there. That team should be in Seattle or Canada. If they were allowed to move they’d have buyers lining up.

  3. yousuxxors - Jun 1, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    I never understood the NHL logic of moving to bigger markets in areas where hockey isn’t even an after thought. I would rather have a hockey team in a small town in Canada than in Arizona.

    • dirt2013 - Jun 1, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      If they move to a western Canada town I will tell you it will be a small town.All the big and medium city’s are taken.

  4. tarotsujimoto74 - Jun 1, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    So what team will mightily overpay for this guy?

  5. tmoore4075 - Jun 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    He’ll get big money from someone. I have no doubt. This is a problem with the cap world and guys being locked up. You get 2nd tier guys going to market getting 1st tier money because teams feel they have to sign these guys. They get into bidding wars.

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