Tommy Smith played school hockey at St. Patricks Lyceum. He moved up to play senior hockey in 1905 at a time when his brothers, Alf and Harry, were defending Stanley Cup challenges as members of the Ottawa Silver Seven.
Tommy joined the Ottawa Vics of the Federal Amateur Hockey League in 1906 and led the league in scoring with 12 goals in eight games. He was asked to fill in for his brother Harry on the Silver Seven roster for three games that year and he scored a total of six goals including four in one game against Montreal. He made enough of an impression that he was asked to stay on and play in the first game of the Stanley Cup challenge series against Smiths Falls. For his efforts, Smith is recognized as a member of the 1906 Ottawa Cup winning team.
He turned pro with Pittsburgh of the IHL the following season and led the league in scoring with 33 goals in only 16 games. He moved from league to league and team to team during the next five seasons but his goal-scoring prowess always followed him. He counted 40 more goals in 13 games, including a nine-goal outburst in a game against Galt, as a member of the Brantford Redmen of the OPHL in 1909-10 and tallied 53 times in 18 games for the Moncton Victorias of the MPHL in 1911-12. He led Moncton to the league championship that season and gained the attention of the Quebec Bulldogs who successfully defended a Cup challenge from Moncton that spring.
Smith settled in for a five-year career in the National Hockey Association from 1912-13 to 1916-17, playing mainly with the Bulldogs, and posted back-to-back 39 goals seasons in his first two years in the league. He played on his second Cup winner as a member of the Quebec squad in 1913. When the Bulldogs chose to suspend operations in 1917 Tommy turned to coaching, first in Ottawa and then the following year in Glace Bay. When Quebec started up again for the 1919-20 NHL season Smith attempted a return to hockey as a player but he was held scoreless in ten games played. He retired as an active player at the end of the season.
He enjoyed fishing in his spare time and in his later years he followed both hockey and football on television with great interest. He passed away at age 81, after an attack of pneumonia.
Tommy Smith was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973.