ABC – Always Beat Calgary

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) and Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) exchanges words. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) and Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) exchanges words. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Earlier this week we received word that Koskinen has signed a contract to play in Switzerland next season. Now this isn’t going to be much of a loss to the team, I think it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Koskinen wasn’t going to be back with the Oilers next season because the Oilers desperately need to get younger in net and Mike Smith has by and large been the better goalie since the two started being a tandem – especially in the playoffs. Not to mention Stuart Skinner appears ready for full time NHL work and thus an internal option is already in place.

But the timing for Koskinen himself is a bit odd. After all, he was due to be one of the premier goalie free agents on the market, and while most teams are rumoured to be offering him around the same amount of money, where the offers would differ would be in term.

Why would he walk away from the NHL when he would most be in demand? This is a bit perplexing to me, but it’s Koskinen’s life and Koskinen’s career and he doesn’t have to justify his decisions to anybody.

If I had to guess I’d say it’s for personal reasons. Maybe he missed Europe too much and wanted to go back. Maybe like with Chris Pronger his wife doesn’t like life in Edmonton. Maybe he has a relative in Switzerland who’s not doing too well and the family wants to be close to them before they’re gone for good.

Whatever the reason, one thing’s for sure – it’s a bit of a bizarre career move for Koskinen – not only because of the demand for his services in the NHL but because the Swiss league doesn’t pay anywhere near what the NHL does.

Oh well, we only know Koskinen is gone not just from the Oilers next year, but from the NHL altogether. Good luck in the Swiss league, Koski.

Next. The psychological war in the BOA. dark