Derek Smith (ice hockey, born 1954)
July 31, 1954 |
Quebec City, QC, CAN
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)|
|Played for||Buffalo Sabres
Detroit Red Wings
|NHL Draft||168th overall, 1974
|WHA Draft||89th overall, 1974
Derek Robert Smith (born July 31, 1954) is a former Buffalo Sabres player who was drafted by the Sabres in 1974. He amassed 78 NHL goals in a nine-year career that also saw the forward play with the Detroit Red Wings. Smith was born in Quebec City, Quebec, but grew up in Ottawa, Ontario.
Smith played his junior hockey for the Ottawa 67's and scored an impressive 52 goals in the 1972–1973 campaign. He backed up the performance with a 47-goal season the next year and this was enough to garner the attention of the Buffalo Sabres who drafted him in the 10th round of the 1974 NHL draft.
He spent three seasons with the Hershey Bears of the AHL including a heroic playoff effort in 1975 where he scored seven goals in just eleven games. Smith also scored nearly a point a game for the Bears in 1976–1977. This is also the year when he got his first taste of NHL regular season action, playing in 5 games for the Sabres.
In 1977, he became an NHL regular appearing in 36 regular season games and an additional eight playoff games. Smith broke out in the 1979–1980 season when he recorded career high 24 goals to go with 39 assists. He once again proved to be a playoff hero when he notched 12 points in just 13 games. He was a 20-goal scorer yet again the next season. Smith also set a career high with 43 helpers in only 69 games.
On December 2, 1981 Smith was the marquee piece of a famous trade that sent him to the Detroit Red Wings, along with Danny Gare and Jim Schoenfeld, in exchange for Dale McCourt, Mike Foligno and Brent Peterson. The trade shocked the Buffalo community because it was three of the more popular players in team history traded despite the team playing well at the time. Smith added thirteen goals to his career total while playing for Detroit. He retired from professional hockey in 1984 after scoring 78 goals and amassing 194 points in the National Hockey League.
Smith still resides in the Western New York area and is an active member of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association.