The Edmonton Oilers aren’t counting on having goalie Mike Smith back in the lineup this season.
Oilers general manager Ken Holland said Smith, who battled injuries throughout the regular season but started all 16 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Edmonton, isn’t likely to play in 2022-23.
“I’m not expecting [Mike Smith] to play this year. He’s got a lot of health issues,” Holland said in an address to media on Wednesday, according to Tony Brar.
Holland: “I’m not expecting (Mike Smith) to play this year. He’s got a lot of health issues.”
Confirmation from the Oilers GM. #Oilers
— Tony Brar (@TonyBrarOTV) July 13, 2022
Smith was uncertain about his future when talking about next season in exit interviews with media last month.
“I have no idea at this point,” he admitted. “It’s been a grind for sure. I’m not getting any younger. I don’t know where I’m going to be at, but I know it was a lot more difficult this year than in years past, but I don’t know at this point.”
Smith missed 26 games early in the regular season because of a lower-body injury, and an additional eight games midway through the campaign after suffering a thumb injury.
He posted a 2.81 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 28 appearances in the regular season, and added a 3.37 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in the playoffs.
Two weeks ago, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Smith was expected to spend the season on long-term injury reserve.
“Now we know that the 40-year-old has dealt with a string of injuries and it’s highly likely that Smith will go on LTIR, long-term injury reserve, for the remainder of his contract, which only has one more year on it at $2.2 million,” Dreger said.
The Oilers signed goalie Jack Campbell to a five-year, $25 million contract earlier Wednesday. Campbell went 31-9-6 with a 2.64 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in an NHL career-high 49 appearances with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had a 2.15 goals-against and .921 save percentage in 2020-21, too.
He is expected to form a tandem with 23-year-old Stuart Skinner.
The Oilers also signed Calvin Pickard to a two-year, two-way contract on Wednesday.