Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/04/10 at 05:56 PM ET
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The area behind the net was Wayne Gretzky’s office, but the combat zone in front of opposing goaltenders has long been Smyth’s home. The Kings left wing routinely absorbs slashes across the hands and whacks on his back while chasing rebounds and deflections, and every scar is a badge of honor.
“That’s the way I’ve made a living. The puck’s got to end up toward the net so you might as well get your body there too,” he said. “And sometimes you have to pay a price. And in this case, I have over the years.”
After so many payments he’s approaching a great reward. Smyth will play the 999th game of his NHL career Thursday, and if all goes well, on Saturday will become the 256th NHL player to reach the 1,000-game milestone.
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