Hockey Gods



Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on September 30th, 2020

Reginald Joseph "Hooley" Smith - Born January 7, 1903 in Toronto, Ontario – Died August 24, 1963 in Montreal, Quebec was a Canadian ice Hockey right winger / centre.

Smith starting playing junior Hockey with the Toronto Beaches of the OHA-Jr. league, then Smith spent the 1920-21 Hockey season with the OHA's Parkdale Canoe Club before graduating to the city's prestigious Toronto Granites squad of the senior league, and quickly became a star with the Granites, leading the OHA Senior league team to the famous Allan Cup championship in both 1922 and 1923.

His most fulfilling year came in 1922-23, when he led all players with 14 assists in the regular season and added 16 more helpers in the club's drive to the Allan Cup championship.

Smith was a standout when the Granites represented Canada at the 1924 Winter Olympics, scoring 17 goals and 33 points in five games, winning the Gold Medal.

He started his professional career with the 'Super Six' of the Ottawa Senators the following winter. In his first season with Ottawa, he received a head injury. When he returned to play he wore a jockey-type helmet to protect his head. Smith is possibly the first National Hockey League / NHL player to wear a helmet.

Early in his NHL career he perfected a sweeping hook-check that stymied many opponents' offensive surges. When he was teamed with Frank Nighbor and Cy Denneny, his hook-check combined neatly with Nighbor's poke-check to give the Ottawa team an unrivaled defensive forward line. Smith didn't lose any of his scoring abilities, however, and so he developed into one of the game's most complete performers.

In 1926–27, Ottawa won the Stanley Cup against Boston. It was the last game that Smith played with Ottawa after attacking Harry Oliver in the final game of that series, Smith attacked his opponent and laid on a beating so severe that NHL president Frank Calder leveled a one-month suspension effective at the start of the next season..

Ottawa had lost money during the season despite winning the Stanley Cup and chose this time to add desperately needed cash to their bank account by selling the hard-nosed forward to the Montreal Maroons for $22,500, a record fee at the time. This turned out to be a beneficial move for the 5'10" winger.

In 1927-28, he played on a line with Nels Stewart and Jimmy Ward and helped the Maroons reach the Cup finals. It was with the Maroons' "M" on his jersey that he gained the greatest acclaim in his career. When Babe Siebert took Ward's place, the dreaded S Line was born. It was a combination that terrorized the NHL for several years. Each member of the S Line was skilled, and just as willing to skate over an opponent as around them. They were usually near the top of the league in both scoring and penalty minutes. Smith waged a year-long battle with Toronto's rugged defenseman Red Horner that was followed closely by fans and media throughout the league.

Smith was placed on the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1932 after scoring 44 points. Remarkably for the time, 33 of his points were assists. In 1932 both Siebert and Stewart had left the Maroons. In their absence Smith moved to the centre ice position, reuniting with Ward on LW. They were joined by Baldy Northcott on the right wing.

Smith captained the Maroons to their second and last Stanley Cup win in 1934-35. The following year he scored 19 goals and added the same number of assists to earn selection to the NHL First All-Star Team.

On March 24-25, 1936, Smith's Maroons lost the longest game in NHL history, a match against the Detroit Red Wings that went to a sixth overtime period. Hooley could take some consolation from the fact that the game didn't end in the fourth extra period when he drew a minor penalty at the nine-second mark.

By the mid-1930s the Maroons were experiencing financial difficulties and he was traded to the Boston Bruins in December 1936, where he only played for one season, and struggled without his old linemates and earned only 18 points.

Smith was then was sold to the New York Americans for the Start of the 1938–39 season. Smith was a jack-of-all-trades, playing on a line with Rod Beattie and Johnny Sorrell, but also playing on defense with big Joe Jerwa.

Smith's days in New York weren't all good though. His battles with coach Red Dutton were legendary, and eventually cost him his job. Smith was suspended for insubordination in what proved to be his final campaign in 1941.

Smith retired with 200 goals and 215 assists for 415 points in 715 games.

Hooley Smith was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.


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