by Jon Jordan on 07/01/11 at 04:00 PM ET
Heard some whispers a couple of days ago that it was a distinct possibility and posted as much last night but today, former Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mike Smith has signed with the Phoenix Coyotes for a reported two years and $4 million, reuniting with head coach Dave Tippett, who he played under in Dallas years ago.
There was communication between Smith’s representation and Tampa Bay about a return but that possibility ended when the Bolts locked up former Blue Jacket Mathieu Garon to back up Dwayne Roloson earlier in the day.
With the Coyotes, Smith will form a tandem with holdover Jason Labarbera, with former Phoenix number one Ilya Bryzgalov now off to Philadelphia, and should get every opportunity to seize the starting job out of camp. His run in Tampa Bay will be remembered for a series of unfortunate events, from injury to demotion, to re-call waivers and a dramatic late-season resurgence capped by clutch playoff performances before the Bolts ultimately fell to Boston.
While his tenure in Tampa may not have gone the way many had hoped it would when Smith was acquired in the Brad Richards deal at the 2008 trade deadline, his NHL career moves forward positively now with an excellent chance to finally realize some serious potential in Phoenix.
Here’s a link to some old material on Smith from this past season here in Tampa.
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