Smith with the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, circa 1962
February 14, 1944|
Ottawa, Ontario, CAN
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)|
Rochester Americans (AHL)|
Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Victoria Maple Leafs (WHL)
Oakland Seals (NHL)
Chicago Black Hawks (NHL)
Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Minnesota North Stars (NHL)
Fort Worth Texans (CHL)
Hershey Bears (AHL)
Washington Capitals (NHL)
Indianapolis Racers (WHA)
Tulsa Oilers (CHL)
Winnipeg Jets (WHA)
Gary "Suitcase" Smith (born February 4, 1944) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey goaltender, was born in Ottawa, Ontario, on February 4, 1944. Gary is a son of Des Smith and brother of Brian Smith, both former National Hockey League (NHL) players. Gary played for numerous clubs, including the Chicago Black Hawks, Oakland Seals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets. He was the co-winner of the Vezina Trophy in the 1971–72 NHL season.
Playing career[change | change source]
Gary Smith won a Memorial Cup with the junior Toronto Marlboros in 1964. Entering the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1965, and was one of five goalies who played for the Maple Leafs during the 1966–67 regular season, their last Stanley Cup season.
He eventually earned the nickname "Suitcase" Smith because of the large number of teams he played for. After playing with the not very good California Golden Seals from 1967 to 1971, where he set records in 1970–71 for both the most games played in a single season and most losses in a single season, his first success was sharing the 1971–72 Vezina Trophy with Tony Esposito while with the Chicago Black Hawks. One year later, Smith and Esposito would help the Black Hawks to the Stanley Cup final.
Smith later played in the World Hockey Association, and was a teammate of Wayne Gretzky while playing for the Indianapolis Racers. He would be part of the Winnipeg Jets' 1979 Avco World Trophy championship.
The Jets played the Edmonton Oilers, led by Wayne Gretzky. When Wayne Gretzky went to his first game at Maple Leaf Gardens, Gary Smith was one of the goalies in the game. The Maple Leafs played the California Seals and Smith was the Seals' goalie.
Career statistics[change | change source]
|1965–66||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||3||0||2||0||118||7||0||3.56||?|
|1966–67||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||2||0||2||0||115||7||0||3.65||?|
|1970–71||California Golden Seals||NHL||71||19||48||4||3975||256||2||3.86||?|
|1971–72||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||28||14||5||6||1540||62||5||2.42||?|
|1972–73||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||23||10||10||2||1340||79||0||3.54||?|
|1976–77||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||36||10||17||8||2090||139||1||3.99||?|
|1977–78||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||3||0||2||1||180||9||0||3.00||?|
References[change | change source]
- Cox, Damien; Stellick, Gord. 67: The Maple Leafs, Their Sensational Victory, and the End of an Empire. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0-470-83400-5.
- Willes, Ed. The Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association. Toronto, ON: McLelland and Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-8947-3.
- [Cox], pg. 79
- [Willes], pg.240
- [Willes], pg. 241