|2017 Season||2017||July 1st Status|
|Conditional 2018 3rd Round Draft Pick|
Undoubtedly, the biggest deal of the pre-roster freeze, ahead of the expansion draft, was the the Calgary Flames acquiring goaltender Mike Smith from the Arizona Coyotes (at a discounted, retained rate) for the unrestricted rights of goaltender Chad Johnson, rights to unsigned prospect defenseman Brandon Hickey and a conditional 3rd round draft pick next year.
The Calgary Flames had their required exposure settled with keeper Thomas McCollum, but there was no secret that they were shopping for a new number one goalie, especially with the talent that was heading to market with Vegas coming into the league and free agency right around the corner. The Flames were certainly kicking the tires around the league, but ended up with Smith, a very good number one, who brings good size and blocking ability to the crease and will likely relish the idea of playing behind one of the league's premier bluelines. At the discounted rate for his last two seasons, the Flames get an absolute bargain with this pick-up and have a goalie worth protecting this weekend for the expansion draft.
The Coyotes had some legitimate concerns in goal, trying to figure out whether or not they wanted to hold onto Smith and lose an up-and-coming keeper like Louis Domingue or protect Domingue and lose Smith, a very good asset, for nothing at the expansion draft.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, by the time this post was done, the roster freeze had been put into effect and Johnson was not signed to a deal, which still leaves Domingue as their required exposure goaltender and lifts Johnson into a potential number one spot, if the Golden Knights opt to go that way, still assuming the Coyotes sign Johnson to a deal after the freeze is lifted.
By my preliminary count, both the Flames and Coyotes are in great shape, heading into the off-season and before the new salary cap number is released. With a projected 23-man roster, the Flames still have $9 million in cap space to play with, still needing to re-sign Sam Bennett, Micheal Ferland and Alex Chiasson, while the Coyotes project to have a 20-man roster today, still $9.2 million under the 2017 cap floor, which means they have a ridiculous amount of room to move, re-sign and trade this summer.
Smith has been one of those goalies that has been easy to take a crap on for playing with the Coyotes for so long, but it really isn't to say that he is a bad goalie, because he isn't. The Flames will get a veteran starter at a very good price, without giving up a great deal of tangible assets to their long-term future, while the Coyotes find way more flexibility in their salary cap structure.
One would have possibly thought that the Coyotes could have got more out of a deal for Smith, but with the zero hour upon them for protected list submissions and roster freezes, the market may not have been there for major assets coming back, so getting something was better than nothing.