Farewell, old friend: Former Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid announces retirement
By Zach Laing10 months ago
So long, Ladislav.
Former Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid announced his retirement from pro hockey, according to Czechia reports.
Smid announced his retirement after the team he played for, Bílí Tygři Liberec, was eliminated in the semi-finals. According to reports, Smid played over 40 minutes setting an extra-league record.
“It simply came to our notice then and I have to say that even though we didn’t win the title, which was my goal at the beginning of the season, the ending was quite sweet,” said Smid via Google Translate. “This match was amazing and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
Smid, now 36, was drafted 9th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2009 and went on to have a 583 game NHL career with the Oilers and Calgary Flames. He never played a game for the Ducks before joining the Oilers in the Chris Pronger trade in July 2006.
Over eight years with the Oilers, he became a fan favourite with his tough style of play on the backend. He was never an offensively gifted rearguard scoring just 72 points over his career, but that’s not what made him popular.
He left the Oilers in a 2013 trade with the Calgary Flames that saw Edmonton bring back Laurent Brossoit, who served admirably as the club’s backup netminder for years.
Smid left the NHL ahead of the 2017-18 season signing with Bílí Tygři Liberec in the Czechia league, where he remained up to his retirement.
What’s next for Smid? Well, it sounds like he’s moving back to Canada.
“I mainly want to be with my family and see my friends as much as possible before I fly to Canada,” said Smid. “I will stay in the Czech Republic for about a month and then I have plans in Canada.
“We are building a house there and I have to take it over. Then I would like to get involved in skill-coaching or something similar to make my life a little more varied. But I don’t want to run from work to work. I need to enjoy my time off a bit.”
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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