Alex Smart

Alex Smart certainly knew how to make a favorable impression on his coach and new teammates. In his first NHL game he became the first rookie to score a hat trick in his first NHL game.

On January 14th, 1943, the Montreal Canadiens hosted the Chicago Blackhawks. Playing on a line with Hall of Famers Buddy O'Connor and Gordie Drillon, Smart scored the final three Montreal goals in a 5-1 victory for the Habs. The first two goals were scored just 14 seconds apart.

Unfortunately, that alone was not enough to keep Smart in the NHL. Though he scored 2 more goals and 2 assists, he only played 7 more NHL games before all but disappearing as a tiny note in hockey history.

"People still remind me about (the hat trick)," said Smart in 1991. "I never though it could last this long."

Buddy O'Connor, Fabian Brunnstrum and Derek Stepan have since duplicated the feat.

Smart returned to senior hockey in Montreal until 1946 when he moved Ottawa. He helped the senior league Senators to the Allan Cup finals in 1948 and helped them win Canada's national amateur championship in 1949.

Alex Smart lived the rest of his life in Ottawa, working for Goodyear Tire for 40 years while also doing some scouting for the Los Angeles Kings.


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