Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/02/13 at 04:35 PM ET
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
Negotiations with goalie Mike Smith were sluggish once the season ended because management couldn’t offer reassurances on where the team would play next season or who would be in charge.
It wasn’t until Seattle was positioned as the alternative home for the franchise that Smith had enough clarity to recommit by signing a six-year extension worth approximately $34 million.
“A month ago, we didn’t know where the team was going to be and I think it’s known now it’s going to be in Phoenix or Seattle,” Smith said. “Both me and my wife, my family, feel very comfortable with either of those situations.”
Smith had been keeping tabs on Renaissance Sports & Entertainment’s bid from Vancouver, where he’s spent most of his off-season, but regardless of that outcome, the 31-year-old is comfortable with his support system – from management to teammates.
“I really believe in where this franchise is going and hopefully it’s in Phoenix but if it’s not, I believe in the group and the core we have and I think that was the main selling point,” Smith said. “I think it’s a fair deal for both sides, and I believe we can build a winning team down the road here. Hopefully we have a core group of guys that we can build a winning team on an every-season basis, and hopefully we can start that next year.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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