Mike Smith will miss up to 10 weeks for Coyotes; trade coming?

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25:  Goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Arizona Coyotes is introduced before the NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Gila River Arena on November 25, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Arizona Coyotes is introduced before the NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Gila River Arena on November 25, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes have been one of the biggest surprises in the NHL this season, with 30 points in 30 games for second in the Pacific Division. While much of that has been due to their offense (2.70 goals per game), goalie Mike Smith had done enough to go 10-9-1.

Now, the Coyotes will have to go without Mike Smith for up to 10 weeks.

The team announced on Tuesday that Smith underwent successful surgery for a core muscle injury, with an estimated recovery time of 8-10 weeks.

He missed two games and was placed on injured reserve. Smith underwent additional testing on Monday for that “lower body injury” and it was diagnosed as needing surgery.

Smith has a .901 save percentage and a 3.06 GAA. These are not good numbers. But when you’re coming off a season with a .904 save percentage and a 3.16 GAA … well, what did you expect? He's not a very good goalie anymore, and he's only a Coyote because they're saddled with that contract.

If Smith is going to miss two months, then the Coyotes are going to have to make a trade. Anders Lindback and Louis Domingue are not going to sustain this thing behind that defense. GM Don Maloney said it’s Lindback for now, and he’s gone 4-5-1 with a .900 save percentage and a 2.92 GAA. But Maloney said he’s looking to the trade market for solutions as well.

In an unrelated but potentially now-related story, Jonathan Bernier gets the start for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night after a stellar stint in the AHL…

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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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