Mike Smith, 1990-1999, Alumni (Greater Kingston AAA Hockey)

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Mike Smith
Mike Smith Photo
Participated: 1992-1998

Smith began his hockey career in 1999 playing for his hometown Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). That season, he played 15 games while backing up future NHL player Andrew Raycroft (currently with IF Björklöven).

After the start of the 2000–01 season, Smith moved to the Sudbury Wolves, where he played 43 games, registering a 2.52 goals against average (GAA) and 0.913 save percentage in the regular season. The Wolves made it to the second round of the playoffs that year with Smith in net.

In the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Mike Smith was drafted by the Dallas Stars with the first pick in the fifth round, and continued to play in Sudbury, again taking the Wolves into the post-season. Their playoff run ended in four games, however, as the Barrie Colts won the series 4–0.

The subsequent season saw Smith's departure from the junior leagues when he split the season between the Lexington Men O' War of the ECHL and the Utah Grizzlies of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Smith made his professional debut on October 26, 2002, against the Dayton Bombers, scoring a statistically unlikely goal during a shutout in his first win, scoring on an empty net at 19:04 in the third period. Smith is the youngest goaltender ever to score in a professional game, doing so at 20 years of age.

He played only 11 games in Utah, backing up Jason Bacashihua and Corey Hirsch. For 2003–04, Utah added Dan Ellis to their roster, with whom Smith split back up duties, again to Bacashihua. Smith went to play for the Houston Aeros in 2004–05, sharing the net almost equally with Josh Harding, putting up a 0.915 save percentage and 2.42 GAA.

Smith joined the Iowa Stars for their inaugural season in 2005–06. The Stars played Smith and Dan Ellis back-and-forth for much of the season until Smith appeared to take much of the netminding responsibilities late in the season. A Stars rally in the stretch secured the final Western Conference playoff spot. Smith started in every game of the seven-game series against the Milwaukee Admirals, which Milwaukee ultimately won.

Smith underwent shoulder surgery during the off-season for an injury he sustained during Iowa's 2005–06 season. After a faster-than-expected recovery, Smith attended the Dallas Stars' training camp in the fall of 2006, and was awarded the backup goaltender position behind Marty Turco. In his first-ever regulation NHL game on October 21, 2006, Smith stopped 22 shots to post a shutout against the Phoenix Coyotes.

On January 4, 2007, Smith was hit in the mask by a 100 mph slapshot, causing him to miss a few weeks with a concussion. He came back strong, however, winning two games in which Turco was pulled. He then registered a 32-save shutout over the Anaheim Ducks on February 10.

Smith also started the year living with Marty Turco's family. However, he eventually moved out and then signed a two-year, $950,000-a-year contract with the Stars.

On June 14, 2007, Smith was named to the 2006–07 NHL All-Rookie Team.

On February 26, 2008, Smith was traded, along with Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Halpern and a fourth round draft pick in 2009, to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist. Smith made his Lightning debut the following night against the Minnesota Wild, stopping 24 of 27 shots in a 3–2 loss.

On March 15, Smith recorded a 3–0 shutout victory over the New York Rangers. He became only the third rookie goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout for two different teams in the same season, and the first to do so in 79 years. Smith recorded 14 wins for the Lightning during the 2008–09 season before suffering a concussion that kept him out of action for the remainder of the season. On February 2, 2011, the Lightning placed Smith on waivers, where he cleared the next day and was subsequently assigned to the Lightning's AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. He returned to Tampa Bay later in the season, however, and, backing up Dwayne Roloson during the Lightning's 2011 playoff run, made his playoff debut in place of Roloson in the third period of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins.

On July 1, 2011, Smith signed a two-year contract worth $2 million with the Phoenix Coyotes. Smith set the NHL record for the most saves in a regulation shutout victory, as he stopped all 54 shots he faced in a 2–0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 3, 2012. However, his record was later surpassed on January 29, 2014, when Ben Scrivens stopped 59 shots in a 3–0 win for the Edmonton Oilers over the San Jose Sharks. He went on to record an impressive 38 wins in his first season in Phoenix, as the Coyotes qualified for their third consecutive playoff berth, and finished fifth in voting for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's top goaltender.

In the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Smith led the Coyotes to their first playoff series win since 1987, beating the Chicago Blackhawks 4–2 in the series. Smith and the Coyotes went on to defeat the Nashville Predators in the Western conference semi-finals, winning the series 4–1. The Coyotes then faced the eventual Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Finals, losing the series 4–1. He posted a superb 1.99 GAA and a .944 save percentage, some of the best numbers for starting goaltenders in the playoffs.

On July 5, 2013, Smith signed a six-year contract extension with the Coyotes worth $34 million.

On October 19, 2013, Smith became the seventh NHL goalie to score a goal with a shot on goal (four other goaltenders have been credited based on own-goals by the opposition). Smith scored with 0.1 seconds left in regulation on an empty net during a win against the Detroit Red Wings. Two months later, Smith would score on himself when, as a result of the hockey puck getting lodged into his waistband, he inadvertently backed into his own net and scored an own goal. The "butt goal" handed the game to the Buffalo Sabres, as the game was in overtime.

Smith won a gold medal with Canada's 2014 Winter Olympic team, dressing as a backup for one of Canada's group games. He did not see any ice time and was primarily the third choice keeper. He also won gold at the 2015 world championships as Canada's starting goalie, going 10-0 through the tournament and recording a shutout streak of 190:03 in the medal round (the final three games).

Mike's Achievements
  • Arizone Coyotes
    Mike Smith - Arizone Coyotes Photo
    2011-2016
    NHL
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Printed from greaterkingstonhockey.com on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 11:29 PM