Steve Smith

Buffalo Sabres fans would have loved to have Steve Smith on their blueline. And for 3 games in 1988-89 they did. Unfortunately it wasn't the Steve Smith you are probably thinking of.

Steve Smith is of course a very common name, so it is somewhat surprising that there have been only two players to share that name in NHL history. The more famous Steve (middle name James) Smith was a hard hitting behemoth with the Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames. He is best known, unfortunately, for scoring on his own net during the 1986 playoffs. The goal eliminated his Oilers from further playoff competition.

The other Steve Smith is the one who played ever so briefly for the Buffalo Sabres.

Steve's career somewhat resembles that of Dave Fenyves, a long time Buffalo Sabres farmhand. Unlike Fenyves, Steve was a high draft pick, 16th overall in the 1981 draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. He would participate in 5 NHL seasons, but only accumulating a total of 15 games played over that time. He, like Fenyves, would go onto become a very solid farmhand with the AHL's Hershey Bears, but would never fulfill his promise at the NHL level. He dominated at the junior level and was a solid minor leaguer but this short and stocky defenseman couldn't translate that to the National Hockey League game.

Smith and Fenyves career's crossed paths inadvertently. In 1987, the Philadelphia Flyers plucked Fenyves from the Sabres in the pre-season waiver draft. Fenyves and Smith played together for a season, but inn 1988, the Sabres retaliated by plucking Smith from the Flyers roster. The Sabres acquired Smith to fill in Fenyves spot on the farm team as the veteran presence along the blue line.

Steve would play parts of 4 seasons in the Sabres organization, including that brief 3 game call up in 1988-89.
Steve left the AHL in 1991, and headed to Europe to wind down his career. He played two seasons across the pond, one in Austria and one in Italy, before retiring in 1993.


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