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Al Smith
Al Smith
Goaltender
Number: 30
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 200
Catches:
Born: Nov 10, 1945
Birthplace: Toronto, ON, Canada
Acquired: Claimed by Detroit from Pittsburgh in Intra-League Draft on June 8, 1971.
Known as "The Bear," Al Smith was a big goalie who began his junior career in Toronto with the Marlboros of the OHA in 1964. After another season in junior, he was called up to the Maple Leafs where he made his NHL debut. The next season, Smith played one game as a Leaf and then moved on to three different teams in the WHL. After a successful season with the CHL's Tulsa Oilers, Smith rejoined the Leafs and played in the 1968 NHL All-Star Game.

He was then sent back down and was eventually claimed by the Penguins in the Intra-League Draft of 1969. Smith became a fan favourite in Pittsburgh as an aggressive player always helping teammates during a skirmish. After two seasons as a Penguin, the Red Wings claimed Smith once again, though he played only the 1971-72 season before heading to the WHA's New England Whalers.

After three seasons in the WHA, Smith made his return to the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, where he played from 1975 to 1977. He then returned to the Whalers of the WHA and led the league in wins and goals against for the 1977-78 season, winning the Ben Hatskin Trophy as the league's top goaltender. He was also named to the first all-star team. When the Whalers became an NHL team in 1979-80, Smith went along for the ride. He was traded to the Colorado Rockies in 1980 and retired from the game after the 1980-81 season.

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame

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