STOCKHOLM – The 2013 World Championship has two players named Smith who are, well, making a name for themselves. Canada’s goalie Mike is playing the best hockey of his career and has earned an invite to the Worlds.
American Craig is second on the team in scoring and helping the team get off to a surprising 3-0-0-1 start so far. But there have been many great players with the surname Smith over the years. Where do Craig and Mike fit in?
Herewith is a Top 10 list of the best international Smiths of all time.
1. Hooley Smith. A key member of Canada’s dominant 1924 Olympic team, Reginald “Hooley” Smith scored 18 goals in five games for the Toronto Granites. He went on to have a great NHL career, winning the Stanley Cup with both Ottawa and Montreal.
2. Harry Smith. An outstanding defenceman with Canada’s National Team in the early 1960s, Harry was named to the tournament all-star team for the 1961, 1962, and 1963 World Championships. He helped Canada win a gold and silver medal during that time.
3. Sid Smith. A remarkable career writ backwards is the best way to describe Sid. He played for the Maple Leafs for a dozen years and won the Stanley Cup three times. Only then did he become a player coach with the Whitby Dunlops after having his pro status reverted to amateur, and with the Dunlops he led the team to gold at the 1958 World Championship.
4. Gord Smith. A lesser-known name from bygone days, Gord was a star player for the Americans during the 1930s. He played at both the 1932 and 1936 Olympics, winning silver and bronze, respectively, and also won a silver medal at the 1931 World Championship in Poland.
5. Bobby Smith. A longtime member of the Minnesota North Stars and Montreal Canadiens, Bobby played alongside Wayne Gretzky at the 1978 World Juniors, winning bronze. He also played at three World Championships, winning one bronze.
6. Steve Smith. Only too well known for his gaffe in the 1986 playoffs with the Oilers, Steve was a talented blueliner who was an integral part of Canada’s 1991 Canada Cup victory. He won three Stanley Cups with Edmonton.
7. Jason Smith. Tough as nails, this defensive defenceman won a gold medal with Canada’s phenomenal 1993 U20 team. He later played at the 2001 World Championship in Germany and appeared in more than 1,000 NHL games, notably with the Edmonton Oilers, whom he captained to the Cup finals in 2006.
8. Randy Smith. A Saskatoon native, Randy played two years with Canada’s National Team in the early 1990s, including the 1992 Olympics when the nation won a silver medal. He also played at the 1991 and 1992 World Championships, winning a silver medal.
9. Craig Smith. Playing in his third consecutive Worlds for the U.S. this year, the 23-year-old recorded a hat trick in the team’s stunning 4-1 win over Finland a few days ago. The Nashville Predators forward is one of many young players on a team that is talented but flying under the radar for the time being.
10. Mike Smith. The incredible rise to glory for this 31-year-old goalie over the last two years puts Mike in a position to make Canada’s Olympic team. He has played well in his two starts to date, his only international experience at this top level, but he might well move up the list in the coming days (or years).