Smith, Hamonic join Calgary Flames fold
CALGARY — A high-priced defenceman and high-mileage goaltender donned the flaming ’C’ in Calgary on Monday.
Flames general manager Brad Treliving introduced defenceman Travis Hamonic and goalie Mike Smith at a news conference after acquiring the two men in trades in the span of a week.
Hamonic, 26, came with a gaudy price tag that included next year’s first- and second-round draft picks going to the New York Islanders.
The deal also included Calgary’s second-rounder in 2019 or 2020 going to the Isles for a fourth-rounder.
How the 35-year-old Smith will perform on what’s been a goaltending carousel in Calgary since the retirement of Miikka Kiprusoff four years ago will be a water-cooler topic this summer as much as Hamonic’s addition.
Smith is a seasoned No. 1 after six seasons with the Arizona Coyotes. He’s twice been Canada’s starter at the world hockey championship and won gold in 2015.
The six-foot-four, 215-pound netminder from Kingston, Ont., was also the Canadian Olympic team’s third goalie in 2014.
But his one and only extended playoff run was 16 starts in 2012 when the Coyotes reached the conference final.
“There’s nothing like it. You just want to get back there,” Smith said. “I want to get back to that level.
“I want to play in those important games and I want to be a big part of pushing this franchise forward in a good direction.”
Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller, Joni Ortio, Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson have come and gone in Calgary’s net in the four seasons since Kiprusoff’s retirement.
Johnson’s negotiation rights went to the Coyotes in the Smith deal along with a prospect and a conditional draft pick.
Elliott will become an unrestricted free agent Saturday.
The Flames would owe St. Louis a draft pick if they traded his negotiation rights.
Calgary (45-33-4) had one of the best records in the NHL after Nov. 15 (40-23-3), but was swept in the first round of playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks.
Smith may be taking on the pressure of playing in a Canadian market, but should see less rubber in Calgary than in Arizona behind a defence that includes Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, Dougie Hamilton and now Hamonic.
“He doesn’t have to steal the game every night, but no matter how good your team is, you still look back on your goaltender and there’s nights he’s going to have to be really good,” Treliving said.
“We’ve just asked him to come here, be consistent, give us a chance each night. We’ve got a pretty good group in front of him. We’re going to try to add to it.”