The headline from the opinion piece by Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal posted on November 8, 2013: Edmonton Oilers trade heart-and-soul D-man Ladislav Smid to Calgary.
Laddy Smid was a 1st round draft, 9th overall, of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2004 NHL Draft. On July 3rd, 2006 Laddy Smid was traded to the Edmonton Oilers as part of a package for Chris Pronger. After the 2008-09 season, Smid was actually traded to Ottawa for Dany Heatley but Mr. Heatley kyboshed the deal. In October 2009, the Oilers revealed that Smid had been diagnosed with H1N1 though he did not miss any games due to the illness.
Here was Calgary Flames Head Coach Bob Hartley’s reaction to acquiring Ladislav Smid:
“There’s no Mr. Casual in him. He’s a warrior,” …. “I talked to him and he was so glad about the trade. He’s a guy that shows up at home, shows up on the road. He’s an in-your-face defenseman. He’s a stand-up guy. He’s not afraid to stand up in a room and say what he has to say, and after this, he backs it.”
With 8 NHL seasons under his belt, it’s easy to forget that Laddy Smid is still only 28 years old. At 6’3″ Smid is the tallest listed Calgary Flames defenseman who suited up for boys in red last season.
The Hockey News touts Ladislav Smid as a “solid shutdown defenseman.” Smid proved to be a reliable blueliner for our Calgary Flames last season, tallying 141 hits and 134 blocked shots.
Laddy Smid personifies the cliché “you only hear about him when he makes a mistake“. So while earning a Norris Trophy vote, or even scoring multiple goals, may never be in the cards for Mr. Smid, his contributions to the club (mainly his willingness to sacrifice his body) cannot be understated. They are understated, but they shouldn’t be!