The NHL announced earlier this morning that Mike Smith will be the Arizona Coyotes’ lone representative at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. This is Smith’s first selection to the All-Star Game. He will serve as the Pacific Division’s goaltender alongside San Jose’s Martin Jones.
As the starting goaltender for the Coyotes, Smith is 7-11-5 in 24 appearances with a 2.83 GAA and a .918 save percentage. His save percentage is the best it has been since his .930 mark in the 2011-12 season. Since undergoing core muscle surgery last season, Mike Smith’s play has consistently improved.
By rule, each team must have a representative at the All-Star Game. Last season’s representative would have been John Scott, who was somewhat infamously voted in by fans before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens as part of a deal for Jarred Tinordi. Scott ultimately played under the NHL’s banner, while the Coyotes were left without a representative.
Like last year, this season’s All-Star Weekend will feature a 3-on-3 tournament between the Pacific, Central, Atlantic, and Metropolitan Divisions, with the captains selected by fan vote. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid will captain the Pacific Team, which will look to defend its title from the 2016 All-Star Game.
The NHL All-Star Game is Sunday, January 29th at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The weekend kicks off on Saturday with the All-Star Skills Competition beginning at 5 PM Arizona time on NBC Sports. The tournament is on Sunday at 1:30 Arizona time on NBC.