According to the Arizona Republic, signing Smith is likely the Coyotes' top priority, even though both parties usually don't like negotiating during the season.
"That's something we'll have to think about, but hopefully obviously ownership gets settled and that can look after itself," Smith told the newspaper. "Just worry about playing games and doing well and whatever happens with contract, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
The shortened 48-game regular-season might force the two sides to talk during the year, but teams can't officially negotiate contracts with players until the NHL and NHLPA ratify the Memorandum of Understanding for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which should occur no later than Saturday.
Meanwhile, Greg Jamison's group, Hockey Partners LLC, continues to inch closer towards purchasing the Coyotes.
Jamison is expected to meet with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly in the coming days to discuss the purchase of the club, though that could get pushed to next week given the League's focus on finalizing the new CBA.