As soon as the season ended and no “White Out”, the focus quickly went to the off season.
What will become of the ownership situation? What will happen with Mike Smith?
When evaluating talent one must first consider the talent around them and how much they contributed. If you consider re-signing Horace Grant you must consider he has Michael Jordan on his team and most likely putting up numbers that aren’t really accurate when rating his worth to the team. Many of Steve Nash’s pal will have about a 20% increase based on Nash and the style of play the Suns played when in their high tempo offense.
Brings us to Mike Smith. How much is he worth? He was an average net minder when he came to Phoenix. After working with Sean Burke and playing in Dave Tippett’s system he became a finalist for Goalie of the Year as well as MVP with the Coyotes deep run last season which ended in the Western Conference Finals. Yeah we all know there are different names like Vezina, Hart memorial, and the Conn Smythe but to the average fan they may not understand which. I will leave it to you to Google your way through if needed.
In my opinion Mike Smith is better than he was judged but greatly helped by the Burke and Tippett mentoring and systems. One simply needs to see Ilya Bryzgalov to see what I mean. Stud here in Phoenix who signs a big contract and then heads to Philly where he gets lit up like a Chernobyl light bulb. See why LaBarbera and Chad Johnson do pretty well in net in his absence. I think money spent needs to be on our offense. Our defense and Goal tending is a coaching system that Dave will lug in what he needs to. Offer Smitty an above average contract but that’s it. I think if anything his attitude and team chemistry is what gets him over an average contract. If not give him a standard middle of the road deal and move on if he doesn’t accept it.
But hey what do I know. Everybody Howl!!!