Coyotes GM investigating goalie trade options

Craig Smith had a great look against Mike Smith, but the Coyotes goalie made the save to keep the Predators off the board.

When the Arizona Coyotes lost their No. 1 goaltender, Mike Smith, to long-term injury, general manager Don Maloney started doing his homework.

The GM told Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic he identified nine teams with goalies that could be pried free.

“We are looking. If there’s a way to get a top-end goaltender that’s a long-term value to the franchise, we’re willing to pay up an asset for that. What I’m not going to do is pay a good asset for the next three months. I’m not going to do that,” Maloney told the outlet. “You can’t have success without strong goaltending.

“We all know it, and we have to pay more attention to it.”

With Smith out eight to 10 weeks as he recovers from surgery to repair a core muscle injury, backup Anders Lindback will be given the crease and charged with keeping Arizona in the Pacific Division’s tight playoff race.

“If he gives us that, we won’t be looking at anybody,” Maloney said.

The 27-year-old Lindback hasn’t seen a ton of work, but his numbers — 4-5-1, 2.92 GAA, .900 save percentage — are comparable to Smith’s this season.

If he does make a move, Maloney said he would prefer an up-and-coming goaltender over a veteran.

The Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs would no doubt be willing to part with a goalie for the right price, while the Edmonton Oilers (Ben Scrivens) and Anaheim Ducks (Anton Khudobin) are paying millions to goalies currently down in the American Hockey League.

“This, to me, is not a panic situation where we absolutely are in dire need [and] we’ll take anybody that comes along and pay a huge price for it,” Maloney said.

“We’re going to just take our time. We feel good about Anders. Louis [Domingue, 23] is right at the age now where he can play some games. If they don’t get the job done, then we’ll find somebody else.”

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