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Trade Coverage

Mike Smith traded to Flames by Coyotes

Veteran goaltender acquired by Calgary for Chad Johnson, defenseman prospect Brandon Hickey, draft pick

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Trading for Mike Smith was the Calgary Flames' first step to solidifying their goaltending for next season.

The Flames acquired Smith in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday for goaltender Chad Johnson, defenseman prospect Brandon Hickey and a conditional third-round pick.

Johnson and Brian Elliott, who served as the Flames' goaltenders this season, each can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

 

[RELATED: NHL Trade Tracker | Fantasy spin: Smith could be top 20 goalie for Flames]

 

"I think it hasn't been a secret we've been looking at the goaltender market, so we've been having lots of dialogue with lots of teams over the course of the last number of weeks and months," Calgary general manager Brad Treliving said. "We were able to come to a conclusion here today and got the deal done."

Smith was 19-26-9 with a 2.92 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 55 games with the Coyotes this season, and is 195-198-60 in 474 games (438 starts) in 11 NHL seasons with the Coyotes, Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning.

He has two years remaining on a six-year, $34 million contract (average annual value $5.67 million), according to CapFriendly.com.

"I knew Calgary was interested," Smith told the Flames website. "I knew they'd been interested for a while. But when it does happen, you kind of go into shock-mode. I've been in Arizona for six years, great years, three of my four kids were born there. You develop relationships outside the game. So emotions pull you in all different directions when you receive the call.

"But I'm really happy to be playing in a Canadian market, with fans that absolutely adore their team ... I'm ready for this. I'm just really, really honored to be playing for the Calgary Flames."

Treliving has previous experience with Smith while working as assistant GM for the Coyotes from 2003-14. He saw Smith's best season in 2011-12, when he went 38-18-10 with a 2.21 GAA and .930 save percentage for the then-Phoenix Coyotes and helped them reach the Western Conference Final before losing to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.

That familiarity helped Treliving's decision to acquire Smith, but it didn't serve as the sole factor.

"I've spent some time with Mike in Arizona and got to know him as a person and you know what he's all about. I think you've got to be careful," Treliving said. "You don't do the deal because you know who he is when you're with him. It definitely gives you some background. You don't necessarily have to do a lot of homework on the person when you have that type of background on him.

"It certainly didn't [hurt], but this isn't one out of just a history of knowing the player as to why you're making the deal. It helped tie all the pieces together for sure."

Treliving is confident Smith, 35, can help Calgary after its goaltending was subpar this season. Johnson was 18-15-1 with a 2.59 GAA and .910 save percentage in 36 games, splitting time with Elliott, who was 26-18-3 with a 2.55 GAA and .910 SV% in 49 games (45 starts).

"[Smith's] a No. 1 goaltender. They're not plentiful out there," Treliving said. "This is a guy who has been there and done it. He had to deal with all the things you have to deal with as a No. 1 goaltender.

"He's a young 35, but there's no question you give it a little bit of pause when you look at his age. He's got a low odometer on him, I'd say. I think the way he looks after his body, there's a little bit of a genetic freak with this guy that I don't think the age is going to be something that we're hopefully concerned with and we think the term left in his contract, he's going to give us good play."

Johnson is 68-45-12 in 137 games (124 starts) during seven NHL seasons with the Flames, New York Rangers, Coyotes, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres.

Hickey, Calgary's third-round pick (No. 64) in the 2014 NHL Draft, has spent the past three seasons at Boston University. He had 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 35 games this season.

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