After one season in Calgary, veteran goalie Mike Smith signs with Edmonton
Ken Holland was unable to make a big splash in his first foray into free agency as the new general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, but that doesn't mean he wasn't busy.
EDMONTON — Ken Holland was unable to make a big splash in his first foray into free agency as the new general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, but that doesn't mean he wasn't busy.
The former Detroit Red Wings GM signed six players for the Oilers on Monday, bringing in veteran goalie Mike Smith and forward Markus Granlund, both on one-year deals, re-signing unrestricted free agent forward Alex Chiasson and inking restricted free agent forward Jujhar Khaira to two-year contracts.
He also signed minor leaguer Tomas Jurco to a one-year pact and even tested the European market by grabbing sought-after Swiss forward Gaeten Haas.
Smith, 37, played with the Calgary Flames the past two seasons, going 48-38-8 with a 2.99 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in 97 games.
"He is a very competitive guy who can handle the puck," Holland said. "We feel good about our tandem in goal with him and Mikko Koskinen."
Smith was 23-16-2 with a 2.72 GAA and a .898 save percentage in 2018-19. In 13 NHL seasons with the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes and Calgary, the Kingston, Ont., native is 243-236-68 with a 2.70 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
"I'm looking forward to being in an Oiler uniform," Smith said. "I didn't really have the start I was looking for last year, but decided mentally after the break that I was going to give it everything I had in the second half and compete like I know I can. I really feel I played my best hockey down the stretch and into the playoffs."
Smith is also 11-12 with a 2.17 GAA and .938 save percentage in 24 playoff games.
"I have the confidence going and the mojo back and still feel like I can be a big part of a team's success," said Smith. "I am a veteran guy now and understand my role, but I still think I can bring a lot to the table and I am going to do everything I can this year to get Oil Country back into the playoffs."
Granlund had 12 goals and 10 assists last season with the Vancouver Canucks. He has 55 goals and 42 assists over 301 career NHL games split between the Flames and Canucks.
"His resume says he should be able to get into double digits in goals," Holland said. "We are trying for more competition in that part of the roster and have players that can play with pace. We think we have started that, but I don't think we are done."
As a team with little cap space to work with, Holland said the free agent period is rife with challenges.
"We'd still like to add another player who has the potential to score 20 goals," he said. "Your decisions are cap-related these days. It goes in cycles. Somewhere down the road we are going to have a ton of cap space and we are gong to make a lot of noise, but right now we don't."
Chiasson had 22 goals and 38 points with the Oilers last season after making the team out of training camp on a PTO.
Khaira is coming off a disappointing campaign which saw him score just three goals and 18 points in 60 games.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press