Bulletin: Jason Smith retires after 1,008 games
“I have been fortunate to have played in the NHL for 16 years. I have played alongside many great teammates and for organizations that I was proud to have been a part of,” said Smith. “I would like to thank all of my teammates, owners, coaches, managers and staff that I have had the privilege of working with through the years and would like to recognize the fans for their tremendous support.
“It has been an honour and a privilege for me to have played in over 1,000 career National Hockey League games, and I would especially like to thank my wife, Wendy, my daughters, Britney and Jordan, my mother and father, my brother and sister, and my many loyal friends for their support through the ups and downs, and for always being there for me.”
“From his first NHL game with the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 8, 1993, to his 1,008th with the Senators on March 9, 2009, Jason has been dedicated to his team and teammates. He is a warrior, a fierce competitor and a team leader,” said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. “Jason is everything that a general manager, coach and teammate wants in a player and he has shown that throughout his career. Jason may have only played one season for the Senators, but he left his mark on the game here as he has done across the NHL.”
The Calgary native signed with the Senators, his fourth NHL team, as a free agent on July 8, 2008. Smith broke into the NHL as the New Jersey Devils’ first-round pick, 18th overall, in 1992. In 1997, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he played until a deal with the Oilers sent him to Edmonton in 1999. He then spent seven seasons with the Oilers before suiting up with the Philadelphia Flyers for the 2007-08 season.
Smith captained the Oilers for five seasons and was only the fourth Edmonton captain, joining Lee Fogolin, Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, to lead the team to the Stanley Cup final. He also served as the Flyers’ captain in Philadelphia.
Smith also excelled in the Canadian Hockey League with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. He was named to the CHL all-rookie team in 1991-92. In his second and final season with the Pats, he served as captain and was named to WHL Eastern Division first all-star team, CHL first all-star team and awarded the Bill Hunter Trophy as the WHL’s top defenceman in 1992-93.
Notes from Jason Smith’s career:
NHL first game: Oct. 8, 1993 at Washington
NHL first assist: Dec. 8, 1993 at Montreal
NHL first goal: Oct. 12, 1995 at Winnipeg
NHL game high in goals: 1, 41 times - last on Dec. 2, 2008, vs Dallas
NHL game high in assists: 3 on Oct. 16, 1998, at Calgary
NHL game high in points: 3 on Oct. 16, 1998, at Calgary
Played his 1,000th career NHL game on Feb. 17 for the Senators at Colorado against the Avalanche.
International: Won gold medal with Team Canada at the 1993 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship; won silver medal with Team Canada at the 2001 IIHF World Senior Hockey Championship
Transactions: Traded to Toronto by New Jersey with Steve Sullivan and the rights to Alyn McCauley for Doug Gilmour, Dave Ellett and New Jersey’s fourth-round choice (previously acquired, New Jersey selected Andre Lakos) in 1999 entry draft (2/25/97). Traded to Edmonton by Toronto for Edmonton’s fourth-round choice (Jonathon Zion) in 1999 entry draft and Edmonton’s second-round choice (Kris Vernarsky) in 2000 entry draft (3/23/99). Traded to Philadelphia by Edmonton with Joffrey Lupul for Joni Pitkanen, Geoff Sanderson and Philadelphia’s third-round choice in 2009 draft (7/1/07). Signed as a free agent by Ottawa (7/8/08).