Oilers put pressure on Smith and Keith

The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly asked goaltender Mike Smith and defenseman Duncan Keith to make a decision on their futures by July 1.

Oilers put pressure on Smith and Keith

The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly asked goaltender Mike Smith and defenseman Duncan Keith to make a decision on their futures by July 1.

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This is what Sportsnet network journalist Elliotte Friedman said on Saturday.

The Alberta organization would therefore like to know within the next three weeks if the two veterans - 40 and 38 years old respectively - intend to retire or play the last year of their contract.

Smith must obtain an amount of $2.2 million in 2022-2023. The masked man was the Oilers' starter during the club's playoff run. In 16 games, he posted a .913 save percentage and a 3.37 goals-against average.

Last Wednesday, during the end-of-season report in Edmonton, Smith was asked about the rumors that sent him to retirement.

"I don't know where it comes from," he said. I do not know. It is too early to tell."

In 2021-22, Smith was playing his third season in an Oilers uniform. For Keith, it was a first lap with the Canadian club. The fullback was obtained in a trade made with the Chicago Blackhawks in July 2021.

"I think it's been better than I could have ever imagined," Keith said of his first season with the Oilers. There were a lot of firsts for me – being with a new team, being traded and living in a new city, a different team, a lot of different things – at the end of the day, I have a lot of fond memories of the last season.

In 64 regular season games, Keith had one goal and 20 assists for 21 points. He added five points in 15 playoff games as the Oilers reached the Western Conference Finals.

If Keith decides to play the final year of his contract in 2022-23, it will impact the Oilers' payroll by approximately $5.6 million.

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