Connect with us

Edmonton Oilers

Holland Comments on Oilers Negotiations with Goalie Mike Smith

Ken Holland wasn’t willing to commit to re-signing Mike Smith. The GM of the Oilers says he wants to check out the market first.

When asked what his priorities are for the offseason, general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, Ken Holland said, “We’ve got to do something in goal.” That led to a discussion about where the team is at when it comes to the future of goaltender Mike Smith and whether or not the Oilers were likely to re-sign the veteran backstop.

Related: Untimely Uncertainty for Edmonton Oilers re: Oscar Klefbom

Holland said, “I’ve talked to (pending unrestricted free agent) Mike Smith’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, a couple of times over the last three weeks, and I told him that … he’s still a consideration…” Holland has been rumored to be gauging the trade market and has a desire to test the free agent market to find an improved situation for the Oilers in net. As such, Smith’s future has sort of been placed on the backburner.

Holland noted, “I want to get to Oct. 9 and explore the marketplace.” Once he does so, he may look back to Smith as Plan B, especially if the market is only offering more expensive options that the Oilers simply don’t have room for.

As for how Smith played when he was part of the team last season, Holland noted, “Certainly, I thought Mike played well for us (19-12-6, 2.95 goals-against average, .902 save percentage), and he and Mikko Koskinen (18-13-3, 2.75 GAA, .917 save percentage) gave us a good tandem.” Holland has said publicly on a number of occasions that a strong pairing is the only way to go in today’s NHL. This is especially true considering the condensed schedule the NHL is likely to implement next season. At the same time, Holland isn’t sure the best tandem will come from in house. He explained, “But there appears to be a goalie market, so I want to explore it and I’ll make my decisions then.”

What About the Oilers Other Needs?

Goaltending is not the only thing on Holland’s to-do list. He noted the Oilers were deep on the blue line, but there are considerable rumors he’s out to land a big fish. Noting that the former GM did a strong job at drafting defenseman before he arrived, the hint was that he might use a defenseman as a trade chip. At the same, he said, “Young defensemen are a strength for the Oilers organization. Bear and Matt Benning are restricted free agents, so we’ve got to figure that out.”

Matt Benning
photo via sportingnews

At forward, Holland noted that the team has already re-signed Gaetan Haas and Joakim Nygard, but that he’s got to look at unrestricted free agents like Tyler Ennis and Riley Sheahan.

“I still have to piece it all together,” he said. Clearly, that goes for the entire organization, not just Mike Smith’s potential deal.

Next: Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Working on New Deal

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More News

More in Edmonton Oilers