Oilers’ Mike Smith uncertain on playing future: ‘It’s too early to tell’

Posted: 08/06/2022 in NHL
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Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith has one year remaining on his contract, but that doesn’t mean the 40-year-old veteran is committed to returning in 2022-23.

“It’s too early to tell,” Smith told the media Tuesday while disputing rumors that he’s considering retirement, per TSN.

He added: “To look ahead now after you just get ousted out of the conference finals, it’s hard to see where you’re gonna be in the next two days, let alone four months from now.

“I think there’s a lot of things to deal with mentally and physically, and that doesn’t have to be decided in the next three minutes.”

The Colorado Avalanche swept the Oilers out of the playoffs Monday. Smith started every postseason contest for Edmonton, authoring a .913 save percentage and 3.37 goals-against average across 16 appearances en route to the team’s Western Conference Final appearance. He was pulled twice this postseason.

“I was just telling some of the guys, the letdown today is real life,” Smith said. “When you come up short, obviously, it’s very disappointing, especially as you get older and you realize your chances are getting narrower and narrower to accomplish that ultimate goal.”

Smith battled a myriad of injuries during the regular season and was limited to just 28 showings.

“(It’s) obviously fun to make the playoffs and go on a run like we did, but playing through injuries for the majority of the season is not easy,” he said. “I don’t know where I’m gonna be four months from now but got a lot of stuff to deal with.”

Backup goaltender Mikko Koskinen wrapped up the final season of a three-year deal and is an unrestricted free agent. Stuart Skinner, 23, showed promise in little action during the 2021-22 campaign, logging a 2.62 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 13 appearances.

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