Floyd Smith

Many Sabres fans know Floyd Smith. He was the coach of the magical 1974-75 Buffalo team that marched tot he Stanley Cup finals before bowing out in a classic playoff battle with the Philadelphia Flyers.
But not a lot of fan remember that Floyd Smith played for the Sabres as well.

A serviceable though rather unmemorable utility forward, Smith carved out a lengthy professional career. He turned pro in 1955 but spent most of his time in the minor leagues. He did get a couple of chances to play with both the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, but it wasn't until he joined the Detroit Red Wings organization in 1962-63 that he earned a full time NHL job. He found a home on a line with two of hockey's biggest names - Norm Ullman and Paul Henderson.

All three members of that line, along with Doug Barrie, were traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1968. The deal was one of the biggest in NHL history, as the Wings got Frank Mahovlich, Carl Brewer, Pete Stemkowski and Garry Unger in return. Smith, Ullman and Henderson continued to play together in Toronto

When the Buffalo Sabres hired former Toronto boss Punch Imlach to create their team for the 1970-71 season, Smith was one of the players Imlach went out and acquired Smith and named him as the Sabres first team captain. He was a good choice. He was a very upbeat guy in the locker room. He was quiet and humble, but not afraid to say something when the situation warranted it.

Smith hung up the blades early in the 1971-72 season and became a very successful coach with the Sabres affiliate team in Cincinnati. He would be promoted to the Sabres in 1974, taking the place of Imlach himself. Smith remained with the Sabres through 1977 before joining the Toronto Maple Leafs for the rest of his hockey career. He would serve in a variety of roles including coach, scout and GM.


Anonymous,  5:50 PM  

I skated with Floyd this morning in West Seneca New York. He is a true gentlemen and to this day an outstanding Ambassador of Hockey.
Floyd lives in the Buffalo New York area and is a "fair" golfer. Hopefully floyd, you will read this. Remember the "fair" golfer is what Doc made me write. Thanks for the skating instruction. It is an honour to have your aquaintance.

East Aurora, NY

Ken Richard,  3:11 PM  

Is there a way to contact Floyd? I witnessed an incredibly kind act from him back in the early 70s and I would like to tell him somehow how he impacted that person's life.

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