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Billy Smith speaks to Islanders before being honored

Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 1:13 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Billy Smith still remembers his introduction to Long Island.

"My wife and I were in Connecticut; we were going to play in New Haven. When I got to the rink, my equipment wasn't there. They told me I had to be up here for practice the next morning. I left early, but I had no idea about Long Island," he said Saturday, prior to being honored as part of the Islanders' celebration of their final season at Nassau Coliseum. "I ended up driving all the way to the end of the Island, turned around and drove all the way back and got to the rink. And I still made practice."

That was in 1972, when Smith played 37 games for an expansion team that set NHL records for most losses and fewest points. Eight years later, Smith was in goal at the Coliseum on May 24, 1980, when Bobby Nystrom's overtime goal gave the Islanders their first of four consecutive Stanley Cup championships.

"We had a good group of guys," he said. "We had 16 guys that probably played seven years together, eight years together. You do get to know each other really well."

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