Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Brian Smith
Brian Desmond Smith grew up in a hockey crazed family, like so many other Canadian homes and he began playing at an elite level at a very young age. By the time he was 19 he was playing for the Brockville Canadiens, who advanced to the Memorial Cup playoffs in 1960.

Smith played minor pro with Ottawa-Hull for several years but then created a controversy in 1963 when he refused to report to Springfield of the AHL after the Montreal Canadiens traded his rights. The result was Smith being suspended for the entire 1963-64 season.

Realizing he had few options from which to choose, Smith reported to Springfield where he played for three years. In 1967 the NHL expanded by six teams which is when the Los Angeles Kings acquired the Springfield franchise. The Kings needed to fill their roster heading into their first season and Smith made the grade, appearing in 58 games, scoring ten goals and 19 points.

Smith was traded to Montreal in the summer of 1968, but never played a game for the Habs, being traded again in November to the Minnesota North Stars where he played nine games to round out his NHL career. He was out of hockey for two years but made a comeback in 1972-73 with the start of the WHA. Smith signed a contract with the Houston Aeros and played in 48 games, retiring at the end of the year at the age of 32. Smith's father Des Smith played with Montreal, Chicago and Boston in the late 1930s and early 1940s while younger brother Gary Suitcase Smith tended goal for seven NHL teams during a pro career that spanned from 1965 to 1980.

Smith's life came to a tragic end when he was murdered by a deranged man who had previously been diagnosed with a mental illness but had refused psychiatric treatment. The killer, who had an immense dislike for the media, randomly selected Smith as his victim, fatally shooting him while on his way to work as a sportscaster at an Ottawa television station on August 1st, 1995. He was 55. An inquest into Smith's killing recommended there should be more public protection and significant changes to the Mental Health Act in Ontario. The end result, Brian's Law, was passed on June 21, 2000 by the Ontario Legislature.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1959-60 Brockville Jr. Canadiens OVJHL
1959-60 Brockville Jr. Canadiens M-Cup 13 1 2 3 7
1960-61 Hull Canadiens IPSHL
1960-61 Montreal Royals EPHL 1 0 0 0 0
1960-61 Hull-Ottawa Canadiens EPHL 2 0 1 1 0 5 1 0 1 0
1960-61 Hull Canadiens Al-Cup 3 1 0 1 9
1961-62 Hull-Ottawa Canadiens EPHL 59 16 15 31 35 8 4 3 7 2
1962-63 Hull-Ottawa Canadiens EPHL 72 24 34 58 40 3 0 0 0 0
1963-64 Springfield Indians AHL
1964-65 Springfield Indians AHL 70 22 12 34 32
1965-66 Springfield Indians AHL 69 20 18 38 15 6 0 2 2 4
1966-67 Springfield Indians AHL 68 30 31 61 15
1967-68 Los Angeles Kings NHL 58 10 9 19 33 -2 7 0 0 0 0
1968-69 Minnesota North Stars NHL 9 0 1 1 0 -7
1968-69 Memphis South Stars CHL 21 5 7 12 11
1968-69 Phoenix Roadrunners WHL 21 1 3 4 0
1969-70 Denver Spurs WHL 60 17 25 42 15
1970-71
1971-72
1972-73 Houston Aeros WHA 48 7 6 13 19 10 0 2 2 0
NHL Totals 67 10 10 20 33 7 0 0 0 0


Son of Des Brother of Gary Traded to Springfield (AHL) by Montreal with Wayne Boddy, Fred Hilts, Lorne O'Donnell and John Rodger for Terry Gray, Bruce Cline, Wayne Larkin, John Chasczewski, Ted Harris and the loan of Gary Bergman, June, 1963.
Suspended for entire 1963-64 season for refusing to report to Springfield (AHL), September, 1963. NHL rights transferred to Los Angeles after NHL club purchased Springfield (AHL) franchise, May, 1967. Traded to Montreal by Los Angeles with Yves Locas for Larry Cahan, July 1, 1968. Traded to Minnesota by Montreal for cash, November 15, 1968. Traded to Phoenix (WHL) by Minnesota with Milan Marcetta for Tom Polanic, February 11, 1969. Signed as a free agent by Houston (WHA), September, 1972.