Phoenix Coyotes Quickly Find a Replacement for Ilya Bryzgalov

July 2nd, 2011 by Mark Brown Leave a reply »
The priority was front and center, and the issue promptly addressed

It did not take Phoenix general manager Don Maloney very long to find a replacement for the departed goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

In the first open market day of free agency on July 1, the Coyotes, in what could be their final hockey season in the desert, signed free-agent net minder Mike Smith along with others who appear to have improved the team.

Smith was the big catch because the Coyotes desperately needed a replacement for Bryzgalov, who signed a nine year, $51 million deal with the Flyers. In signing Smith to a two year deal for $4 million, Maloney indicated his search is over for a reliable body between the pipes, and he will continue to pursue help at other positions.

Smith, at 6-4, 215, is well known within the Phoenix organization for Coyotes coach Dave Tippett coached the Kingston, Ontario native in Dallas. Tippett guided the Stars from 2002 through 2009, and Smith was there for the for the 2006-07 season (12-5-2, 2.23 GAA in 23 games) before being traded to Tampa Bay mid-way through the following season.

Under Tippett for the partial seaso ...

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