Just one day after falling out of the Western Conference Final to the Colorado Avalanche, veteran Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith wasn't ready to say whether or not he'd be back in action next season.
"It's too early to tell," the netminder said on Tuesday, while also dispelling recent rumours that he was considering retirement.
"To look ahead now after you just get ousted 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."
Smith, who has one year left on his contract at a $2.2-million cap hit, started all 16 games of the Oilers' run through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, posting eight wins, six losses and a .913 save percentage.
The 40-year-old has played 686 regular-season games across 16 NHL seasons — the last three of which have been with the Oilers. The Kingston, Ont., native's best season was in 2011-12, when he produced a .930 save percentage for the then-Phoenix Coyotes before leading the team to the Western Conference Final.
Entering the off-season, Oilers backup Mikko Koskinen is an unrestricted free agent after his three-year, $13.5 million deal signed in 2019 came to an end with Monday's loss.
Third-stringer and AHL starter Stuart Skinner, meanwhile, is signed through next season at a $750,000 cap hit and will require waivers. In 13 NHL games this season, the 23-year-old recorded a .913 save percentage.