This is a legitimate question. I'm not kidding here.
As far as I know, he has never played the game (and doesn't look like he did either) and has a degree or something in Russian. How does that translate into an NHL job? Just wondering if someone could shed some light on the situation for me..
He started out as a conditioning coach with the Rangers in 1976. He must have been a protege of John Ferguson, who was the Rangers' GM then, because Fergie hired him in Winnipeg when the Jets joined the league. He stuck around there for ten years, mostly doing scouting/player development stuff, became the Jets' interim GM when Feguson was fired, and was eventually given the job permanently.
From Mike Smith's bio from ChicagoBlackhawks.com ...
Smith served as Associate General Manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs for two seasons (1997-98 to 1998-99). Prior to joining the Maple Leafs, Smith served as a Consultant with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1995 to 1997 under Bob Pulford.
Smith held a variety of positions with the Winnipeg Jets from 1979 to 1994. He served the Jets as a Vice President and General Manager, Assistant General Manager, Coach, Director of Scouting and Director of Recruitment. Mike joined the Jets organization for their first season in 1979-80 by running the team's top affiliate in Tulsa of the Central Hockey League. During his second season in 1980-81, he took over the reins as Head Coach for the final 43 games of the regular season. He served as an Assistant Coach during the 1981 Canada Cup tournament. Smith moved into the scouting department in 1981-82 and would later hold the Assistant General Manager's job from 1985 to 1988. He also was the Manager of Team USA in the 1995 World Championships.
The native of Potsdam, New York, Smith succeeded Winnipeg General Manager John Ferguson on October 25, 1988, on an interim basis. He gained the permanent position less than two months later on December 3, 1988.
Prior to joining the Winnipeg Jets, Mike was hired in 1976-77 by the New York Rangers as an Assistant Coach specializing in conditioning and player development. After two seasons, he joined the expansion Colorado Rockies' coaching staff as an Assistant Coach.
Smith has a doctorate in Political Science and Russian Studies from Syracuse University. He has authored 10 books, mostly on coaching in hockey.
Real hawk fans are finally seeing that the wrong guy was fired...(well other than Pully). Sutter is suffocating this team and they delayed the inevitable in not canning him instead of making Smith the fall guy.
A great example. Mike Smith's worst draft choice(considered by most hawk fans anyway) was the 2001 2nd 1st round pick of Adam Munro.
Munro was a decent goalie prospect, but certainly could have been had in later rounds, and we passed up some real gem prospects. Well Smith didn't offer Munro a contract this season(taking the compensatory pick that gave us Michael Barinka as I recall).
Smith is fired, and lo and behold- Tallon and Dumas bring Munro back into the fold.. he started last night in Norfolk. Smith never would have taken Munro at #21 overall(or whatever it was). I'm not firing on Munro, hell I hope he comes up and is the next Marty Brodeur... But its just another example of Smith falling on the sword that is the Pulfor regime in chicago.
Why are the hawks the joke of the league? Because there is only one boss, and his name is Wirtz. He is Jerry Jones or George Steinbrenner- except he doesn't care about winning.