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Barry Smith's Five Things

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

Everyone has a few favourite things they head out on the road, and the Canucks are no exception. Here's a closer look inside the travel bags of a few Canucks personalities.

Assistant coach Barry Smith is in his fourth season with the Canucks and coached at both the AHL, and ECHL levels before that. He's probably spent more time inside busses and planes than most of us spend in our kitchens.

Despite holding the title of "Tape King" for all his work in the video room preparing clips of the team and their upcoming opponent, his travel bag is surprisingly low-tech - with a few notable exceptions.


Smith spends more than his share of late nights on the road pouring over game tape; getting out of bed for practice the next morning can be tough. That's why Smith always carries his own alarm clock. It's easier and more reliable than a wake-up call. Plus, it's got a snooze button.

"I always take my alarm clock, which is also my palm pilot too, and it does everything," says Smith.
"It's not like a blackberry or anything, it just does the basics, but it's my alarm and has all my phone numbers in it."


For Smith, a laptop is essential equipment. Nobody cuts tape of power play formations anymore; it's all done digitally with sports-specific digital editing software. VHS went out with Dino Ciccarelli and the North Stars.

"I use [the computer] internet service and pretty much everything else, but it's specifically for XOS [digital video editing software]. It's a program for sports, and I think pretty much everyone uses it, like the NFL or Daytona 500 or whatever."

"I think they've got 28 NHL teams using that now. It's a great system and it's easy to use - what it does, how you edit it, and how you mark different things on it because it's all hockey specific."


Smith's wife and three kids live in Whitefish, Montana. During hockey season he doesn't see them as much as he'd like, so he carries a few keepsakes along with him in his "ditty bag" - also known as a shaving kit.

"I have one thing from each of my kids - just little things they've given me. There's a little rock thing my youngest son gave me, it's just a little stone in a little bag. My middle son gave me the medal he got for being star of the game and my oldest son gave me another rock thing as well. It always stays in my ditty bag with my stuff for shaving."

"They gave them to me a long time ago and I don't think they know I carry each one of those things in there all the time. I've done it for years but I guess I forgot because they stay in there all the time so whenever I travel they're always with me."


Ahh, the ubiquitous watch: everyone's got one and they always take them on the road. Smith isn't nearly as picky as some.

"I always wear a watch, but I've got four different ones," he says. "None are of any expense though. It's just a random watch depending on what I'm wearing."

Maybe trade them all in and buy a big one with an alarm clock? Then he could cut the Palm out of the picture and buy a bigger ditty bag.


With all the time Smith spends staring at LCD images, getting back to old fashioned ink and pulp is always a welcome respite. And no, he doesn't read about sports.

"My favourite books are World War II type books. I like things that happened between 1900 and 1950 - any kind of story, whether it's a mystery or a true book."

His all-time favourite?

"I read one called The Long Walk. It's a story about Polish guys who escape from a gulag in Siberia during World War II and walk all the way to India. It's a great story, I highly recommend it."

Written by Slavomir Rawicz, The Long Walk is a true tale of survival.

In 1941, the author and a small group of fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp. Their march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India is a remarkable statement about man's desire to be free.

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