NHL Notes: Coyotes' Smith seeking big contract

NHL Notes: Coyotes' Smith seeking big contract
May 5, 2013, 4:45 pm
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Coyotes netminder Mike Smith is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he's looking to cash in.

The 31-year-old has completed his two-year, $4-million contract and is seeking to be paid like a starting goaltender.

The problem? Smith isn't sure if Coyotes general manager Don Maloney is in a position to offer the kind of deal Smith is looking for.

“Obviously, I’d like to know where I stand in this whole thing, and the stability of this franchise has a huge impact on that,” Smith told the Arizona Republic, via ProHockeyTalk. “I don’t think Don’s in a position right now, with no ownership, to have the authority to sign a deal like that.”

Smith has spent the past two seasons with Phoenix. He had a tremendous 2011-12 campaign, posting a 38-18-10 record with a .930 save percentage and eight shutouts.

The goalkeeper had a difficult lockout-shortened season this year. His save percentage dipped to .910 and he posted a 15-12-5 record for the Coyotes, who failed to reach the postseason.

Maloney has expressed interest in re-signing Smith, but it appears the netminder could be testing the free agent waters this summer.

No punishment for Phaneuf
Maple Leafs bruiser Dion Phaneuf will not be fined or suspended for his hit on Bruins forward Daniel Paille on Saturday, according to Sportsnet's John Shannon.

Phaneuf appeared to deliver a high hit on Paille in the second period of Toronto's 4-2 win over Boston. He was not penalized on the play.

Here's Paille's reaction to the hit, courtesy of CSN New England.

“I’m not sure if it was shoulder or arm, or anything,” Paille said. “He’s a big hitter. I stood up and didn’t fall. I think that’s a big reason why [there was no penalty or suspension].

“Plays like that are called normally. Not always, but normally. During a game when a play like that isn’t called you get frustrated by it.”

Game 3 between the Leafs and Bruins is Monday night.

Wild call up Granlund, Veilleux and Dowell
Now that the AHL Houston Aeros have completed their season, three of their players will be joining the Minnesota Wild.

Minnesota on Sunday recalled forwards Mikael Granlund, Stephane Veilleux and Jake Dowell, according to the Star Tribune.

The Wild are currently down 2-0 in their series with the Chicago Blackhawks. It's unclear if any of the three call ups will play in Game 3.

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