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|Jerred Smithson: a true Predator success story|
|Written by Jim Diamond|
|Wednesday, 12 October 2011 23:32|
The Predators do not have the financial capabilities of their big-market brethren in New York, Toronto and Philadelphia. They have compensated with under-the-radar players, and Jerred Smithson offers one success story.
Undrafted by an NHL team, Jerred Smithson fits the mold of one of many success stories the Predators have had over the years.
After five seasons of mostly modest numbers with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, Smithson signed with the Los Angeles Kings as a free agent. He appeared in just 30 NHL games over the course of three seasons and was cut loose.
The things that make Smithson successful will not always appear in game highlights.
At 32, Smithson is an elder statesman on a young Nashville team. As he has matured, Smithson has discovered that he has had to pay close attention to his body in order for it to serve him well in his chosen profession.
"I think in my younger years, I was trying to do whatever I could to gain weight and put on muscle to get as big as I could," Smithson said. "I was pretty skinny when I first turned professional and it was a battle just to put on five pounds. It would take me all summer."
Professional athletes are not immune to the changing metabolic rates that others go through as they put their 20s in the rearview mirror. The 6-foot-3 Smithson checked in at 209 pounds on his frame at the start of this season's training camp.
"I will never be a huge guy," Smithson said. "I will never be 225 pounds, but the last few years it is starting to get a little easier to gain weight, so I have to keep an eye on that. When I really start skating at the end of July, I notice right away if I am a little too heavy. I know in the season where I like to keep my weight, and at the start of the season right now, I am feeling pretty good where I am."
The exterior of Chicago's United Center will add some company to former Bulls star Michael Jordan's statue outside of the shared home of the Bulls and Blackhawks. On Oct. 22, the Blackhawks will unveil bronze statues of legendary players Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. The men are Blackhawks Ambassadors and members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. ... Columbus C Jeff Carter did not take much time in making an impression on his new team. In last Friday's season opener against Nashville, the offseason acquisition established a team record by winning 24 of 31 faceoffs. The Blue Jackets front office opened the checkbook in the offseason in adding Carter and D James Wisniewski, but Columbus is off to its first 0-3 start in franchise history. ... The Detroit Red Wings finished with the fifth-best power play in the NHL last season with a 22.3 percent success rate. Despite winning their first two games this season, the Red Wings have failed to convert on any of their nine opportunities with the man advantage. Coach Mike Babcock will look to change that trend by inserting C Jiri Huder on the power play more frequently. "I'm not getting Huds on the ice enough in power play situations," he said. ... Nashville C Mike Fisher (offseason shoulder surgery) and D Francis Bouillon (post-concussion syndrome) have returned to full contact practices and could be game-ready in a week or so. Rookie C Craig Smith posted four points (two goals and two assists) in his first two NHL games. ... St. Louis C Jason Arnott scored his first goal as a Blue in Saturday night's loss to Nashville. Wearing a visor to protect the eye he had a cataract removed from in the preseason, Arnott's power-play goal briefly tied the game in the third period. Arnott served as Nashville's captain for three seasons from 2007-08 through 2009-10.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 13 October 2011 08:21|