Cat’s Question of the Week: Is the Team Season Opener-Ready?

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Looking in the Net: Goal Talk

February 18, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) makes the save against the Dallas Stars during the third period at Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

Of all the positions the team needs to look at, I think the net is the biggest one. Mike Smith may be a fan favorite, but he’s nowhere near an elite goalie- and while the team is paying him accordingly, I think that the team needs to look at replacing him in the near future. The team has no shortage of goaltenders in the system right now- they have five prospective netminders not on the roster, and a nice, solid backup to Smith in the form of former Oilers and Predators’ backup goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

Out of the prospects the team has in the system, Mark Visentin is the closest to being NHL-ready. Of the three goaltenders who split the 2013-2014 season for the Portland Pirates, Visentin had the second-highest save percentage. The 2010 first-rounder only fell behind Mike McKenna, who- at 31- isn’t likely to see NHL play with the Coyotes at all. Should Visentin spend another two years developing with the AHL affiliate, he could become Smith’s replacement.