The road to the National Hockey League was a long and winding one for Dallas Smith, but it culminated in a remarkable and satisfying 890 game NHL career.
Born in Hamiota on October 10th, 1941, Smith played junior with the Estevan Bruins of the SJHL and turned pro with the Boston Bruins in 1959. He spent the entire 1960-61 season with Boston before toiling in the minors to await another opportunity. Thus began the long road back to the Big Show with stops in Hull-Ottawa (EPHL), Pittsburgh Hornets (AHL), Portland Buckaroos and San Francisco Seals (WHL) and the Oklahoma City Blazers (CPHL) from 1961 to 1967.
By the 1967-68 expansion season, Dallas Smith was back in the NHL for good and his timing could not have been better. The ‘Big Bad Bruins’ were embarking on a golden era of NHL glory and the steady veteran Smith was partnered with a young phenomenon by the name of Bobby Orr. He led the NHL in the plus/minus category the first year the statistic was kept track of. His best personal season was 1971 during which he had his career high of 45 points, played in the NHL All-Star Game (one of four times) and finished with a plus/minus of +94, one of the highest totals in league history. A farmer in the off season, Smith was regarded as one of the strongest men in the League.
But for Smith, individual glory took a backseat to the team accomplishments of that Bruin dynasty. Along with stars such as Orr, Phil Esposito, Gerry
Cheevers, Johnny Bucyk and Wayne Cashman, the Bruins relied upon the character of players such as Smith, John “Pieface” McKenzie and fellow Hall of Famer Ted Green to capture two Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972. The intrepid goaltending of Ken Dryden and the Montreal Canadiens’ Flying Frenchmen and the impending rise of the Philadelphia Flyers prevented a string of NHL titles, but Smith’s Bruins were always a Cup contender for most of the seventies. Dallas Smith was even named interim captain in 1977.
Smith signed as a free agent with the Rangers in 1977-78 to re-join Esposito and finished his career in New York that year. Now residing in Oregon with his wife Sharlene, Smith still owns farmland in the Westman area. Inducted into both the Manitoba Hockey and Baseball Halls of Fame, Dallas Smith is now a member of his third Hall of Fame.
b. October 10th, 1941