“If it’s being viewed as me making Mike available and starting a bidding war, that’s not the case,” Chayka told Arizona Sports’ Craig Morgan Monday evening.
“We’re taking calls on players every year. I don’t think anyone is untradeable, but like we talked about last year with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, he’s up as high on that list as anyone.”
The 35-year-old Smith was the rebuilding Coyotes’ selection to participate in the 2017 All-Star Game, but what remains of his prime seasons does not coincide with a contending Arizona squad.
Smith went 19-26-9 with a .914 save percentage for the shaky Coyotes last season and has long provided the franchise stability at an important position. He has two seasons remaining on a contract that carries a $5.67-million salary cap hit and a no-trade clause (Smith’s actual salary is $6 million in 2017-18 and $5 million in 2018-19).
“Goaltending is such a premium position, and Mike was as good as anyone in the league last year,” Chayka said.
“There’s a value to our team that Mike has, being an all-star and our rock. His value is extremely high, but if someone wants to pay an even higher value for him, that’s the industry.”
Read: Make us a good offer.
A handful of teams, including the Vegas Golden Knight, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets, do not yet have a proven NHL No. 1 goaltender under contract for next season and could be looking to upgrade at the position.