Mike Smith Trade: C-
I think it’s quite obvious why this is a C-. While Mike Smith isn’t a bad goalie, he’s very inconsistent. Something the Calgary Flames have been dealing with in their crease since Miikka Kiprusoff, basically. I mean, to be fair, he has been playing behind one of the worst teams in the league for the last few seasons. But his numbers still aren’t great.
While the Flames didn’t quite give up a whole lot (rights to Chad Johnson, a prospect, and a conditional 3rd-round pick in 2018), his contract still isn’t the best. The Flames will be giving him $4.25 million for the next two years. Definitely more expensive than other options out there (Antti Raanta and Phillip Grubauer) and definitely older than other options (Smith is 35 years old). Given, he does have more experience, but there were still some other options to choose from.
Everything about this so far seems negative, however one of our writers, Tomas, looked at the positives. Over the last two seasons, he’s eighth among goalies who have played at least 80 GP in even-strength sv%. What’s dragging him down is his short-handed save percentage. This and the fact that he brings tons of experience are the reason this didn’t get a D grade. Also, the Flames now have a Mike in every position, so we got to give them that.
Kris Versteeg Re-Signing: A+
Kris Versteeg already gets an A+ in my books for choosing the Calgary Flames over the Edmonton Oilers last season. He had a PTO with the Oilers, but at the last minute, basically was like “Bye guys” and signed with the Flames for virtually the same price ($950,000). The Oilers were also one of the only teams interested in the two-time Cup winner.
He was definitely the best third line option at that price available. He had 37 points and was also able to play at that top unit when needed. And compared to other third-liners on the team, he was the best for his price. A couple other third-liners:
- Troy Brouwer: 25 points in 74 games, $4.5 million avg. salary
- Matt Stajan: 23 points in 81 games, $3.125 million avg. salary
- Lance Bouma: 7 points in 61 games, $2.2 million avg. salary
But boy, how things change in a year. After one off-season of having barely any teams interested, this off-season, he had a dozen offers from different teams. And he only signed at $1.75 million, which is a big discount he took to stay with the Flames. Versteeg also said that last season playing with the Flames revived his love for the game of hockey, so understandable why he’d want to stay in YYC.
I mean, he also grew up a Flames fans. So sticking to your roots is always a good bet.
Versteeg said earlier in the season that if he’s in Switzerland by September, his agent is getting fired. So looks like his agent still has a job for now.
An awesome third-line option with an incredible amount of playoff experience (that showed in this year’s playoffs), who’s versatile, a cheap option, and took a hit in pay to play with his childhood team? Yeah, this signing is going to get an A+. Good job Treliving.