By Lindsay Kramer
Special to NHL.com
July 28, 2004
Shortly after signing a contract to play with the Los Angeles Kings, right wing Brad Smyth chatted with an official from the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Manchester.
In his first professional season in 1993-94, Smith played for Birmingham in the ECHL, scoring 56 points (26g-30a) in 29 regular season games and tied for the team lead in the postseason with eight goals and 16 points (8g-8a) in 10 games. He returned to Birmingham in 1994-95 scoring 68 points (33g-35a) in 36 regular season games and seven points (5g-2a) in three playoff games.
Following introductory pleasantries, Smyth asked the question that got right down to the heart of the matter. He wondered who the Monarchs expected to have at center this season.
Smyth, 31, isn’t very needy when it comes to playing hockey. All he asks for is a middleman or two who can send the puck his way.
“I took a look on the website to see who was playing there. Yeah, it’s an important factor, a centerman who likes to make plays and carry the puck,” Smyth said.
Smyth has shown season after season he knows how to take care of the rest. For the last decade, he’s been one of the best finishers in the AHL.
Forget about the AHL’s rule changes designed to create more offense. The move that may burn out the most scoreboard lights is the Kings’ offer that brought Smyth back after a one-year stay in Finland.
Smyth enters this season with 525 career AHL points in 469 games. He ranks fourth all-time with 43 playoff goals. In his last AHL season, 2002-03 with Binghamton, he produced 24 goals and 32 assists in 69 games. In 2000-01 he popped in 50 goals for Hartford. In 1995-96, he ripped off 68 for Carolina.