The Phoenix Coyotes season came to an end sooner than most anticipated, following their unexpected run to the Western Conference Finals last season, but several of their players are still out playing hockey over in Europe over these next couple of weeks.
One of those players is Mike Smith. The veteran goaltender, who just completed his second season with the Coyotes, is making his first appearance for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships. He’s splitting the goaltending duties with Edmonton Oilers netminder Devan Dubnyk.
Smith has only made two starts so far in the tournament, but has been very impressive in the action that he has seen. He’s allowed just three goals in two starts, compiling a .951 save percentage and a 1.44 goals-against average, having faced 62 shots total.
Those 62 shots are plenty more than Dubnyk has faced in the tournament. Smith also has a shutout to his credit, blanking Sweden in a 33-save effort.
Smith is an unrestricted free agent this summer, with his future in Phoenix very up in the air. The Coyotes would obviously like to have their netminder back, as he’s been absolutely brilliant for them for the better part of his two seasons in the desert.
Of course, ownership is holding that back, as the Coyotes are still without an official owner, handcuffing their finances. Playing for Team Canada is certainly a nice distraction for Smith, but the tournament only goes on for about another week.
Soon the questions over his future with the organization will start back up, but it definitely has to be a pleasant site for the Coyotes to see their goaltender succeeding on the international stage, at least so far.