Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Richard Smehlik
Richard Smehlik grew up in Czechoslovakia and played his junior hockey there. He represented his country in numerous international tournaments including the World Juniors in 1990 (where he won a bronze medal), the IIHF World and European Championships, Canada Cup, and 1992 Olympic Winter Games (another bronze), and the World Championships.

He was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft and made his NHL debut with the team in the 1992-93 season. After three seasons with the club and making an immediate impact, Smehlik was sidelined for the entire 1995-96 season after knee surgery. He returned for the next year and represented his country once again in the 1998 Olympics, winning gold for the Czech Republic.

The next season, Smehlik and the Sabres made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals before falling to the Dallas Stars in six games. Smehlik went on to play nine seasons in Buffalo before he joined the Atlanta Thrashers for the 2002-03 season. A solid defender Smehlik played the better part of the season with the young Thrashers before he was acquired by the New Jersey Devils in the latter stages of the 2002-03 season. Upon his arrival in New Jersey the longtime Sabre got another opportunity to reach the Stanley Cup final. Smehlik and the Devils eliminated the Ottawa Senators in seven games in the Eastern Conference final and then went on to defeat the upstart Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, also in seven games.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1987-88 TJ Vitkovice Jr. Czech-Jr.
1987-88 Czechoslovakia EJC-A 5 1 1 2 4
1988-89 TJ Vitkovice Czech 38 2 5 7 12
1989-90 TJ Vitkovice Czech 44 4 3 7 7 1 1 2
1989-90 Czechoslovakia WJC-A 7 0 1 1 4
1990-91 Dukla Jihlava Czech 58 4 3 7 22
1990-91 Czechoslovakia WEC-A 8 1 2 3 8
1991-92 Czechoslovakia Can-Cup 5 0 1 1 2
1991-92 TJ Vitkovice Czech 47 9 10 19 42
1991-92 Czechoslovakia Olympics 8 0 1 1 2
1991-92 Czechoslovakia WC-A 8 0 0 0 4
1992-93 Buffalo Sabres NHL 80 4 27 31 59 +9 8 0 4 4 2
1993-94 Buffalo Sabres NHL 84 14 27 41 69 +22 7 0 2 2 10
1994-95 HC Vitkovice CzRep 13 5 2 7 12
1994-95 Buffalo Sabres NHL 39 4 7 11 46 +5 5 0 0 0 2
1995-96 Buffalo Sabres NHLMGNT
1996-97 Buffalo Sabres NHL 62 11 19 30 43 +19 12 0 2 2 4
1997-98 Buffalo Sabres NHL 72 3 17 20 62 +11 15 0 2 2 6
1997-98 Czech Republic Olympics 6 0 1 1 4
1998-99 Buffalo Sabres NHL 72 3 11 14 44 -9 21 0 3 3 10
1999-00 Buffalo Sabres NHL 64 2 9 11 50 +13 5 1 0 1 0
2000-01 Buffalo Sabres NHL 56 3 12 15 4 +6 10 0 1 1 4
2001-02 Buffalo Sabres NHL 60 3 6 9 22 -9
2001-02 Czech Republic Olympics 4 0 0 0 0 -3
2002-03 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 43 2 9 11 16 -4
2002-03 New Jersey Devils NHL 12 0 2 2 0 -1 5 0 0 0 2
NHL Totals 644 49 146 195 415 88 1 14 15 40


Missed entire 1995-96 due to knee surgery, August 11, 1995. Signed as a free agent by Atlanta, July 11, 2002. Traded to New Jersey by Atlanta with New Jersey's 6th and 8th round picks (previously acquired) in 2004 NHL Draft for New Jersey's 4th round pick (Michael Vannelli) in 2003 NHL Draft, March 10, 2003.
Officially announced his retirement, September 17, 2003.
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