When it comes to a top-six player, expectations are usually high. Over his first two seasons with Vegas, Reilly Smith has a total of 113 points (41 goals, 72 assists) in 141 games. He averaged 21 goals and 36 assists per season.
Coming into the season, projections were about the same, 20 goals and 35 assists. However, Smith exceeded anyone’s expectations in this shortened 2019-20 season, passing career highs in goals, shorthanded goals, game-winning goals, and shooting percentage. He earned every bit of his $5M annual salary pitching in .76 points per game.
One of Smith’s season highlights was a beautiful, breakaway backhand goal he scored on December 2nd against the New York Rangers.
Seems like I’ve gotten a lot of breakaways this year. I’ve done that move four or five times, and I’ve gotten lucky. I think it worked on a few. It’s probably one of those things that I’ll probably go back to. Hopefully, none of the goalies in the league are listening to this interview. -Reilly Smith
His backhand was so effective that his brother stole the move four days later.
We did it a week apart, and with him playing forward this year, in the past he hadn’t had as many breakaways. He made it look a lot better than I did. It is pretty cool that we did it in the same week.- Reilly Smith
Smith added six game-winning goals, which led the Golden Knights this season. With production down from William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault, the right-winger made up for the missing points. On four separate occasions, Smith scored two goals in a game including the game-winning goal. In two of those games he also netted a shorty.
10/02 vs SJ: 2 Goals (1 shorthanded, 1 game-winning goal)
11/05 @ CBJ: 2 Goals (1 shorthanded, 1 game-winning goal)
02/22 vs FLA: 2 Goals (1 game-winning goal)
02/28 vs Buffalo: 2 Goals (1 game-winning goal)
With the regular season paused, Smith’s 2019-20 totals put him third on the team with 54 points, second with 27 goals, fifth with 27 assists, and third with +17 plus/minus rating. Keep in mind Smith is seventh on the Golden Knights payroll, which was a bargain for the numbers he accrued.
Oh, and he has two years remaining on his contract. So there’s still time to match and pass this season’s production.
It’s about time smithy gets some acknowledgment, he is one heck of a two way hockey player. He gives it all every game and does his best at making his teammates look good as well. Hopefully we will see him and the rest of the club sooner thg than later.
VERY interesting from TSN——hockey all summer baby
Some of hockey’s superstars have put their heads together, continuing to privately brainstorm a way for the National Hockey League to achieve some degree of certainty as to when the game will return.
This group of players has concocted an unofficial proposal: Let’s take a step back and chart out a return to the ice in late July. It’s an idea that has pinged back and forth in text messages among a small subsection of some of the league’s players, where it has gained traction and support.
The plan would be to open training camps in early July.
Players aren’t fond of the idea of jumping right into the playoffs, so one idea is to begin a truncated conclusion to the regular season that wraps up by the end of July.
That would give teams with an unequal number of games played a chance to make their final cases for the postseason, while also providing “warm-up” contests for teams firmly in playoff position.
Then a two-month sprint for Lord Stanley would begin in August, with the Stanley Cup awarded by the end of September.
A three- to four-week transition period would follow in October with the draft, free agency and training camps.
Then the full 2020-21 regular season – a condensed, 82-game schedule – would commence in November with the Stanley Cup awarded again in late June, 2021.
The majority of players who have been presented with the proposal are in favor. It is now making its way to the NHL Players’ Association and then potentially to the NHL.
The belief is the NHL would certainly consider and take any proposal made by players. The league isn’t in a position to be closing the door on any idea at this point.