Edmonton Oilers: Is The Mike Smith Deal Already A Bust?

New Jersey Devils score a goal on Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils score a goal on Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

On July 22, 2021 the Edmonton Oilers announced that they had extended Mike Smith with a 2 year deal with an AAV of $2.2 million. At the time of the signing most people thought that the 2 years would become an issue as he is an older goaltender. So far this season he has done nothing but prove us all right.

The Edmonton Oilers have played 34 games so far this season. The “number 1” goalie, Mike Smith, has only appeared in 6 of those games due to injury. He was having a good season up until the game he got injured, which was only his 3rd start. He then was able to start three more games since then. Now he is going to be out at least a week with a partial tendon tear in his thumb.

His first two games were against the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks. In those games he had a GAA of 2 and a SV% of 0.952. Those are numbers of a top tier starting goalie. Unfortunately since then he has been quite bad.

In his last four games he had a GAA of 4.25 and a SV% of 0.859. Those games have really put a dent in the spectacular numbers he put up in his first two games. As of right now with goalies who have played at least 6 games he is 63rd(0.898) out of 68 in SSV% and 64th(3.76) in goals against.

I know that Mikko Koskinen hasn’t been a serviceable starting goalie while Mike Smith has been out with injury, but he does have better numbers than Mike Smith. Koskinen currently sits 50th(3.19) in GAA and 49th(0.900) on the same list. Stuart Skinner is currently doing much better than both of them, 27th GAA(2.70) and 20th SV%(0.917).

Going into the season the Edmonton Oilers were not going to be able to rely solely on Mikko Koskinen to carry the starting load for the Edmonton Oilers, but was bringing back the 39 year old Mike Smith on a two year deal really the best option? The worse thing is yes, I think it was. With the cap constrains that this team has they were unable to bring in any better of a goalie.

If this team hopes to have success moving forward this season and next, they are going to need a healthy Mike Smith. So far this year it does not look good for the future. Getting injured the amount of times Smith has in this contract already has me thinking the signing is a bust. If he is able to come back and play the rest of this season and next, he should be able to change my mind. Till then this contract extension looks like another miss by Ken Holland.