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Clint Smith dies at 95; NHL center was two-time winner of Lady Byng Trophy

Nicknamed Snuffy, he played 11 years with the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.

May 22, 2009|Associated Press

Hall of Fame hockey player Clint Smith, a two-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy while with the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, died Tuesday. He was 95.

Nicknamed Snuffy, Smith played 11 years in the National Hockey League -- with New York (1936-43) and Chicago (1943-47) -- and was the lone surviving member of the Rangers' Stanley Cup-winning team in 1940. Teammate Alf Pike died in March.

Smith was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.

The 5-foot-8, 165-pound center won the Lady Byng Trophy, given for skill and gentlemanly play, in 1939 and 1944. He incurred only 24 penalty minutes in 483 regular-season games and had a four-season stretch in which he wasn't called for a penalty.

In the 1943-44 season, Smith set an NHL record with 49 assists while playing on a line with future Hall of Famers Bill Mosienko and Doug Bentley. The trio set a league scoring record with 219 total points.

Smith also shares the NHL record for most goals in a period with four, set March 4, 1945, against Montreal.

Born Dec. 12, 1913, in the Saskatchewan town of Assiniboia, he played his early hockey in that Canadian province before moving to Vancouver in 1933 to play for the Lions of the North West Hockey League.

After his NHL career, Smith played with the Tulsa Oilers of the United States Hockey League and was chosen the league's most valuable player in 1948.

He was a player-coach with the St. Paul Saints of the USHL and a full-time coach with the Cincinnati Mohawks of the American Hockey League in 1952.

Smith returned to Vancouver in 1953 to play old-timers hockey. He was a founding member of the British Columbia Hockey Benevolent Assn., also known as the Canucks Alumni. He held various positions within the organization, including president.

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news.obits@latimes.com

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