FRISCO, Texas – The Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League announced that they have signed former ECHL All-Star goaltender Mike Smith to a two-year contract worth $1.9 million through the 2008-09 season. Smith would have become an unrestricted free agent when his current contract expired on June 30.
“Mike has developed into a solid goaltender and has proven to us that he has a bright future in the National Hockey League,” said Dallas general manager Doug Armstrong. “He has great chemistry with Marty Turco and adds excellent qualities to our organization. We’re glad to have him for the next two years.”
The Idaho Steelheads are the ECHL affiliate of Dallas of the NHL and the Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League.
Smith is 6-3-0 with two shutouts, a goals-against average of 2.16 and a save percentage of .905 in 12 games for the Stars. He became the first goaltender in Dallas history to record a shutout in his NHL debut, making 22 saves in a 4-0 win at Phoenix on Oct. 21, 2006.
The 24-year-old was 25-19-6 with a goals-against average of 2.50 in 50 games for the Iowa Stars in the American Hockey League in 2005-06. He had three assists on Mar. 3, 2006 tying the AHL record for most assists in a game by a goaltender. New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was the last to accomplish the feat in 1993 with Utica.
As a rookie in 2002-03, Smith was named to the ECHL All-Star Game and was 11-10-4 with a goals-against average of 2.55 and a save percentage of .910 in 27 games with Lexington while also playing in the AHL with Utah where he was 5-5-0 with a goals-against average of 3.23 and a save percentage of .906 in 11 games. He spent 2003-04 with Utah of the AHL and was 8-11-0 with a goals-against average of 2.83 and a save percentage of .908 in 21 games while also spending time in the NHL as the backup for Dallas.
In his third professional start on October 22, 2002, Smith picked up not only his first win and his first shutout, but also scored his first-ever goal in a 2-0 win over Dayton. With Lexington leading 1-0 late in the third period, Dayton dumped the puck behind the net where Smith gained control and flipped it out of the zone. The puck hit in the center face off circle and then slid untouched into the empty net at 19:04. The goal by the then 20-year-old Smith, who is the youngest goaltender ever to score a goal in a professional game, was featured on ESPN’s NHL 2Night.