On Saturday, June 17, 2017, the Arizona Coyotes and the Calgary Flames made a trade shortly before the NHL trade freeze went into effect. The Coyotes received goaltender Chad Johnson, prospect Brandon Hickey, and a conditional third round pick. On the Flames’ end of the deal, they received goaltender Mike Smith.
For the Coyotes, they will be reuniting with their former netminder in Chad Johnson. Johnson was previously a member of the Coyotes, having played during the 2012-2013 season where he posted a 2-0-2 record and had a .954 saves percentage (hockeydb.com). This past season, Johnson served as a backup to Brian Elliott in Calgary where he posted an 18-15-1 record and a .910 save percentage (hockeydb.com). Johnson is due to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The final parts of the deal for the Coyotes include prospect Brandon Hickey and a conditional draft pick. Hickey was selected in the 3rd Round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Flames, the same year that the Flames selected Sam Bennett fourth overall. Rather than signing an entry-level deal with the Flames, Hickey opted to play collegiate hockey at Boston University. He recently completed his junior year at BU and was a teammate of Coyotes prospect Clayton Keller compiling 15 points (4 goals and 11 assists). Standing at 6’2″, Hickey has a chance to break the Coyotes blue line at some point in his career. Finally, the Coyotes received a conditional third-round pick that will transfer to a second round pick if the Flames make the playoffs.
For the Flames, they received goaltender Mike Smith. Smith had been with the Coyotes since the 2011-2012 season, a season in which he posted a stellar 38-18-10 record and a .910 save percentage (hockeydb.com). Following that exceptional performance, former Coyotes general manager Don Maloney rewarded Smith with a six-year, $34 million extension. Since the contract extension, Smith, unfortunately, endured bouts of inconsistency and untimely injuries as a member of the Coyotes. This past season, Smith received recognition for his play with the Coyotes and became an All-Star. The Flames hope that Smith can evolve to be a consistent and reliable number one goaltender. As part of the trade, the Flames are required to pay 75% of Smith’s remaining $11 million salary.
With this trade, will the Coyotes have success without Mike Smith? Have the Flames found their man in net with Mike Smith?