Remember this guy? He was traded to the Oilers in the Chris Pronger trade in the 2006 offseason and was a stay-at-home defenceman for the Oilers for eight seasons before being part of a rare trade between the Oilers and Flames for Roman Horak and Laurent Broissoit. The funny thing about that one is that was right around the time when Smid’s injury problems intensified and he only played 109 games over three seasons for the Flames, which adds an element of comic relief about the trade to me because the Flames essentially bought him right when he became a broken toy. It’s almost like the GM of the day Craig Mactavish planted a trojan horse on the roster of our rivals to the south.
After injuries caught up to Smid, he went back home to Czechia to play in the Czech pro leagues before retiring in 2021-22.
Anyway, Smid has actually made his way back to Edmonton as he’s now working as a development coach for the Oil Kings.
I also recently listened to this podcast where Smid revealed that in retirement he is in fact an Oilers fan and not a Flames fan (good man) and routinely chirps his Flames fan friends on Twitter (more applause for this man).
I always find it interesting to see what ex-NHL players are doing in retirement as this is the greatest challenge for most of them after NHL time is done – seeing as how you might be 40 years old when your career is done, you’ve still got at least 10 good years at absolutely minimum left before your body starts to shut down, so the question then becomes what do you do in the meantime? You need something to do so you don’t go stir crazy, and some guys still get involved in hockey somehow, others maybe not so much.
Ex-Oiler Theo Peckham founded a hockey school and became a firefighter in Ontario, as one example. Some guys like Derek Boogaard see unfortunate ends. However, his premature death was one of many examples that started the NHL on the path to fewer concussions and brain injuries for the modern player by taking the more extreme violence out of the game.
Grant Fuhr is a goaltending coach for the Phoenix Coyotes, and Bill Ranford holds the same position with the LA Kings. Ranford already has his name on the Cup as a player and coach, as he has held this position with the Kings since 2006, so he was the goalie coach for LA when they won their Cups in 2012 and 2014. He was previously Fuhr’s backup in ’88 and the starter in 1990 when the Oilers won their last two Cups (with maybe one more this season?).