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Getting to Know...Wyatt Smith

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
After a stellar career at the University of Minnesota, Wyatt Smith played with four different NHL franchises and their American Hockey League affiliates during his first eight professional seasons.

Signed as a free agent by the Colorado Avalanche prior to the 2007-08 campaign, the Thief River Falls, Minn., native has seemingly found a home in Denver. Smith has seen extensive time on Colorado’s fourth line while also playing a big role on the club’s penalty killing unit.

You’ve seen what he can do on the ice, now here’s your chance to get to know Wyatt Smith.

He would love to shake hands with John. F. Kennedy
“He’s obviously a big figure in American history and unfortunately his time was cut short. There have been a lot of books and documentaries on him. I think it would be fun to meet him myself, just so I could get a feel for what type of guy he was.

The four seasons are what makes Minnesota great…
You get fall, spring, summer and winter, so there’s a little bit of everything. That’s one thing; with the life I’ve lived and the career that I’ve had, I’ve kind of been all over the place. The thing I enjoy and miss the most is that you get a taste of all four seasons in Minnesota.”

…but the hockey is second to none
I’m obviously biased, but it’s pretty relative to how the Canadians treat hockey. When we go and play the Wild, it’s always a sold out barn and is the hottest ticket in town. Statewide, I think hockey is the most interesting sport for people who live there. They have the high school state tournament every year that sells out the Xcel Energy Center. You’ve got young kids from ages 15-18 who get to play in front of 18,000 fans, so it’s a special time of year.

He’s piled up quite a few mementos over the years
I have a ring from my Calder Cup championship with Milwaukee a few years back. There are also a couple of rings I got when I was able to play for the senior amateur team up in my hometown and a couple of state championship medals. But my favorite would probably be the puck from my NHL first goal.

He doesn’t miss the smell of fish guts in the morning
My first job was as a paperboy. I actually thought that was the worst job, but it really wasn’t that bad. I’d probably say working for the city of Warroad was the worst. It was actually fun, working with some good friends of mine, but we would have to be at work at six o’clock in the morning. The first job we’d have to do was clean out the fish guts from the fish house. Then we had to go out and bury them, and had to go deep enough so the bears wouldn’t sniff them out and dig them up. It was the worst.

He’s a pretty normal guy who enjoys golfing and fishing…
“I have ten fingers and ten toes. I can’t fly a plane. I’m pretty much your average Joe, I guess. I play golf regularly back home with a few friends and I also like to go fishing. My favorite fishing spot up north is Hanson’s King Island, which is just outside of Nester Falls, Ontario.

…but he doesn’t tell tall tales
This summer we had a really good time up north at Lake of the Woods, Ontario. Everybody caught a lot of fish. We were there for 10 days and the biggest fish was 27 ½ inches and I caught it. I have pictures to prove it.

He’d strap on the pads in a pinch
In college and in the minors I had the same role of a top-two line guy. My whole career, whenever I’ve come up to the NHL, I’ve been a third or fourth line player. It’s not that I had to change my style, but you just have to go out there, be accountable and work hard. This is the best job in the world, so if they wanted me to play goalie I’d do it.”

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