Left-winger Stan Smrke played 21 seasons in his professional career with 19 of them split between Chicoutimi and Rochester. Smrke, who was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia on September 2nd 1928, began his minor pro career in Toronto with the Young Rangers in 1947. After a year in the Eastern League, he headed to Chicoutimi where he played all but four games of the next nine years.
The four games away from the Chicoutimi Sagueneens was spent with the Montreal Canadiens, who acquired him in a four-player trade. When Smrke took to the ice as a Montreal Canadien during the 1956-57 he became the first Yugoslavian born player in NHL history. He played four games that year and five more the following season with Montreal. He registered three assists with the Canadiens in his second stint but did not score a goal. However, Smrke participated in the 1957 All-Star Game, which pitted league All-Stars versus Montreal, the defending Cup Champions. Smrke managed to score a goal in that game, his only against NHL opposition.
The rest of the 1957-58 campaign was spent with the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans, the first of what would end up being nine years with the club. Smrke returned to Chicoutimi for the 1958-59 season but was back in Rochester the year after. In 1959-60 Smrke led the AHL in goals when he fired home 40. The left-winger settled in with the Americans and became a steady source of offense for the club who twice won the Calder Cup as league champions during his tenure. In 1967, after scoring 31 goals and 61 points in 71 games for Rochester Stan Smrke retired from the game.
In 1988 the Rochester Americans inducted Stan Smrke into their Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, Smrke, who died on April 14th 1977, was not alive to enjoy the honour.