Known as a team leader, Paul Shmyr a talented defenceman began his NHL career with a brief three game stint with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1968-69 season. Before the NHL he played in the WHL, IHL and CHL from 1966 to 1968 and would return to the CHL after being sent down by the Hawks.
He would play the next season with both Chicago and their CHL affiliate Dallas Blackhawks. The 1970-71 season would see Shmyr spend his first full season in the NHL as a Hawk, only to be traded to the California Golden Seals before the start of the next season. He would only play one season for the Seals before moving to the WHA.
It was in this new league that Shmyr would shine, being named a first team all-star in '73, '74 and '76 while playing with the Cleveland Crusaders, as well as being a second all-star team member in '79 with the Edmonton Oilers. Shmyr would also be honoured for his defensive skills by winning the Dennis A. Murphy Trophy as the WHA's top defenceman for 1976.
After four seasons as the Crusaders captain, Shmyr was traded to the San Diego Mariners in 1976 where he would spend just one season before signing as a free agent with the Oilers, becoming their captain for the next two seasons. He was looking forward to making his return to the NHL when the Oilers were set to enter the league in 1979, but to Shmyr's shock his return came in Minnesota not Edmonton.
After the disappointment of uprooting his family to a new city to play hockey, Shmyr quickly became the leader of a young North Stars team, which he captained into the playoffs where they had a good run that finally ended in the semifinals. The next season would see the North Stars go all the way to the finals becoming the beloved underdogs trying to derail the New York Islanders Cup run. Shmyr would watch most of the playoffs from the sidelines after an injury kept him out followed by the coach sitting him. When Shmyr did return, it was in the finals, where he played his best game in some time, leading the North Stars to their only win in the Stanley Cup finals.
In the off-season Shmyr would sign with the Hartford Whalers as a free agent and would play his last season in hockey, hanging up his skates for good in 1982.