Coyotes, goalie Mike Smith agree on six-year contract

July 1, 2013 at 7:35 PM

GLENDALE, Ariz., July 1 (UPI) -- Pending free agent goalie Mike Smith has agreed to return to the Phoenix Coyotes in a six-year deal, the team announced Monday.

The terms of the contract weren't disclosed, but the Arizona Republic reported it was worth approximately $34 million.

"We are pleased to sign Mike to a multi-year contract," Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said. "Mike has emerged as a top NHL goaltender with his size, athletic ability and strong work ethic. He is capable of leading us to a Stanley Cup championship, the goal of our franchise."

Smith, 31, anchored the team last season despite struggling with injuries, posting a 15-12-5 mark with a 2.58 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and five shutouts over 34 games.

He was also a key component in the 2011-12 season when Phoenix reached the Western Conference finals.

Negotiations between the sides stalled at times, leading to speculation he could become a much-coveted free agent.

"I always felt in the back of my mind I was going to re-sign with Phoenix, but I didn't know," Smith told the Republic. "Obviously, you look around the league at different positions where you see yourself fit but, in the end, I think Phoenix has been too good to me."

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