GMDM can't commit $4m/yr to a goalie that has had 1 good year and 1 incredible playoff performance.
Face it, he's been crap this year... .900 save pct is just not good enough at the NHL level to win games, especially if we're not the Blackhawks or Lightening or Penguins. We can't allow 2.85 goals a game and think we're going to win, not going to happen.
We're getting the Smith that everyone feared we were acquiring when we originally signed him. There's lots of .900 save percentage goalies available at less than $6 million. I understand if Maloney offers him $4 M + but he'd be losing years on my contact offer and I'd likely start with a salary number that starts with a 3.
I actually think this year can be a toss out. Smith had a great year last year, and it's not uncommon for players to burnout after an extended playoff run that is emotional and overachieving. I don't want to commit big dollars to Smith at the same time. He's proven to be worth his current contract, and I think if he wants a major raise (like doubling his contract) then he needs to prove it more than once. Sign another one or two way deal.
The funny thing to me about all of this is how often Tippett teams are credited with making a goalie. For the most part that has not been the case this year, and it's not done much for Barbs either. I think Tippett teams can make a good goalie look great (Smith, Bryz, Turco) but it's all relative to the talent you are starting with. I think that Smith has enough talent to put together more successful than not seasons under a Tippett coached team.
On a side note, I can't help but feel the team ownership factors into things. I've probably been saying that for four years, but I think in some limited circumstances it could be more considerable than others. I think it impacts a guy like Doan more than a guy like Sullivan for sure. I think someone like Smith, a pending free agent, can look at it in the back of their mind and make them uneasy. I know no one wants to hear excuses, but it would be foolish to say that it has no impact on players.