Jun 13, 2013, 1:22 PM EDT
Shane Doan will be back with the Coyotes next season.
He hopes Mike Smith is too.
To that end, the Phoenix captain admitted he’s openly lobbied Smith — an unrestricted free agent on July 5 — to re-sign in the desert.
“I didn’t put any undue pressure on him, other than how badly I want to play with him and be with him on my team,” Doan told the Arizona Republic. “I think that’s well-known.”
Doan told the Republic he and Smith crossed paths in Vancouver 10 days ago, at which time Doan made his pitch for Smith to stick with the ‘Yotes.
It’ll be interesting to see what Smith does.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed a career renaissance in Phoenix. He finished fourth in Vezina and 11th in Hart Trophy voting last season, thanks to a stellar campaign in which he won 38 games while posting a 2.21 GAA, .930 save percentage and eight shutouts.
This year, Smith battled through injury to appear in 34 games for Phoenix and while his numbers were down — .910 save percentage, 2.58 GAA — he did post a NHL-high five shutouts.
The former Stars and Lightning goalie is hitting free agency at a strange time. His performance warrants a raise on the two-year, $4 million deal he signed with Phoenix in 2011, but the salary cap is falling to $64.3 million and the goalie market is flush.
Smith, Niklas Backstrom and Evgeni Nabokov are all legit No. 1 netminders that could become UFAs, and the trade market is expected to include the likes of Roberto Luongo, Ryan Miller and Jonathan Bernier.
As for Doan, he’s just hoping Smith chooses Phoenix — and chooses soon.
“It would be huge for us to get our answers and not have to worry about that,” Doan said.
“Nothing would make me happier.”
- Flyers’ Mason broke his right pinky finger playing ball hockey 11
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame 56
- It’s back! PHT’s Team of the Day summer series starts tomorrow 7
- Pens sign Spaling — two years, $4.4 million 13
- Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D 30
- Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension 18
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 46
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 59
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 21
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame (62)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (59)
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million (46)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)