Coyotes Ship Smith to Flames, Sabres Acquire Beaulieu from Canadiens

by | Jun 17, 2017 | News, NHL, Rumors | 19 comments

Arizona Coyotes ship goaltender Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames.

The Arizona Coyotes shipped goaltender Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames in exchange for goaltender Chad Johnson, defenseman Brandon Hickey and a conditional third-round pick in 2018. If the Flames reach the playoffs next season, that pick becomes a second-round selection. The Coyotes also pick up 25 percent of Smith’s $5.6 million annual salary-cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the second straight year, the Flames acquire a veteran starting goaltender. They’re hoping the 35-year-old Smith will pan out better than Brian Elliott, who struggled in Calgary last season and is expected to depart via unrestricted free agency on July 1.

Smith spent the past six seasons with the Coyotes, backstopping them to the 2012 Western Conference Final. Since then, he’s struggled with consistency, injuries and adjusting to a rebuilding roster. He also helped Canada win a gold medal in the 2015 World Championships. He has two seasons remaining on his contract at a reasonable cap hit for the Flames of around $4.2 million annually.  

Given Smith’s decent numbers last season and his stellar play at the 2015 Worlds, he could fare better in Calgary with a better team in front of him. 

Over the last three seasons, goaltending proved a serious weakness for the Flames. General manager Brad Treliving knows Smith from his days with Coyotes management and obviously believes he’ll be a worthwhile short-term investment while their goalie prospects develop. However, he’s taking a gamble on a netminder whose best seasons are behind him. 

The Coyotes, meanwhile, now require a proven starting goaltender. Louis Domingue isn’t ready yet for that role and Johnson is best suited for backup duty.  Hickey’s spent the past three seasons at Boston University and is likely destined for their farm team next season.

The Buffalo Sabres acquired defenseman Nathan Beaulieu from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for the Sabres’ third-round pick in the upcoming 2017 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens fans expected Beaulieu would be moved. A former first-round pick, he struggled to play up to expectations in Montreal. They probably won’t be pleased with GM Marc Bergevin getting such a low return.

With Beaulieu gone and promising Mikhail Sergachev shipped to Tampa Bay in the Jonathan Drouin deal, the Canadiens need some skilled youth on their blueline. This will only stoke the rumors suggesting winger Alex Galchenyuk will be shopped for a defenseman.

As for the Sabres, they get a decent depth defensemen at an affordable price. If Beaulieu can reach his potential in Buffalo, this could turn into a steal. 



  1. Beauliwu is what we sea. I cant see him making any hige strides of improvement. Its a fair prixe.

    • Ya from being a healthy scratch in the playoffs to so many terrible plays you can’t expect much in return

      • Sabres have excess picks this year so they could afford to make a deal for a depth guy.

      • I am unhappy with this return. I personally feel that the progress he did show in the past was %100 his doing in spite of Michel Therien. I think with proper coaching from Housely he will become a player worth more than the 3rd round pick in a weak draft. Not saying he will become a top pairing D, but better than the return MB got.

  2. Are you hearing any rumblings as to where Elliott might end up? Solid guy and heck of a worker. Had his chance last year and just couldn’t take advantage. Tough break for him

    • All quiet on the Elliott front. Maybe he signs with the Jets as a mentor for Hellebuyck?

      • Who wants a mentor for Helleybuck with a playoff spot on the line? The Jets need a bona fide starter. This is a playoff team with a proven starting goalie. Until they get one we’ll see.

      • Fleury would be perfect in Winnipeg. Hellybuyck is going to be a legit nhl starter but wasn’t ready last year. Any chance the Devils would move Schneider? they shouldn’t but the Jets need to make an offer. If Schneider has 3+ years left on his contract they should offer Roslovic++.

  3. Smith is suspect. Not a fan of the deal for the Flames. There had to be options better out there.

  4. MAF is a perfect fit in Winnipeg to help this team get to the playoffs, mentor Hellynbuck, and he has 3 rings…. no brainer here thought Calgary might go MAF instead they went with the aging slug Mike Smith can’t figure this one out at all….

    • I think the 3 rings this is a little overblown…. He earned 1, and wasn’t on the ice for 2. He started in this years playoffs, but didn’t finish.

      • Exactly

  5. There were a lot of whispers in MTL that Nate was on some illegal powder. Would explain the brain farts.

  6. Whisper shmisper – kid didn’t get coaching in MTL to develop. He’s got the skills – he needed the move – this will be a steal for Buffalo – much better than whatever MTL gets for the 3rd round pick…

    • swiss 2793. Thank you. Finally a voice of reason.

    • Can’t coach a guy who doesn’t want to learn bealieu is a lost cause can only imagine the trouble him and Kane will get into in buffalo

      • If you say so…

    • Exactly. With Housley as his coach, it’s his best chance to develop and the Sabres have a glaring need there.

  7. I hope for Calgary’s sake Smith will thrive and stabilize their goaltending.

    Beaulieu for a 3rd seems like a bit of a steal for the Sabres but I guess he had no future with Julien as coach.Wait n see.