The Phoenix Coyotes wasted no time getting their replacement goalie. Just moments after the NHL opened its 2011 Free Agency period, the 'Yotes signed Mike Smith to play between the pipes in place of the dearly departed Ilya Bryzgalov. Smith was most recently the backup goalie in Tampa Bay. Up front, general manager Don Maloney also added forward Raffi Torres who most recently skated in the Stanley Cup Finals with Vancouver.
The team doesn't officially release contract information, but Mike Smith's contract is widely reported to be two-years, $4 million while Torres reportedly got two-years at $1.75 million per.
Coyotes free agents Vernon Fiddler, Scottie Upshall, and Ed Jovanovski have reportedly signed with other teams.
"We are very pleased to sign Mike to a multi-year contract," said Maloney. "Mike is a big, talented goaltender who we feel will excel in our system. We are excited to have him join us in the desert."
In six NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars, the 6-foot-4, 215 pound Smith has played in 162 NHL games, posting a 67-66-19 record with a 2.71 goals against average (GAA) and a .906 save percentage.
Last season, Smith appeared in 22 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning posting a 13-6-1 record with one shutout, a 2.90 GAA and a .899 save percentage. In three playoff games with the Lightning, he posted a 1-1 record with a 1.00 GAA and a .958 save percentage.
The 6-foot, 216 pound Torres has appeared in 512 NHL regular season games, recording 112-99-221 and 390 penalty minutes (PIM) in six NHL seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers.
Last season, Torres appeared in 80 games with the Vancouver Canucks recording 14-15-29 and 78 PIM. Torres helped the Canucks reach the Stanley Cup Finals, appearing in 23 playoff games and registering 3-4-7 and 28 PIM.
The 29-year-old native of Toronto, Ontario has played in 53 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, including two Final appearances with Vancouver in 2010-11 and Edmonton in 2005-06, recording 7-15-22 and 58 PIM.
Visit Coyotes blog Five for Howling for more on the free agency moves.