Jason Smith reacts to being named captain: Video
John Stevens makes the announcement: Video
The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have named Jason Smith the 16th captain in team history, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren. In addition, Simon Gagne and Mike Richards have been named alternate captains.
“Jason (Smith) is a tremendous choice for us moving forward,” said Holmgren in making the announcement. “He plays the game the right way. He is an old pro and I think that in the (locker) room it was a popular choice as well.”
|Jason Smith is the 16th captain of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Jack Cassidy) |
“In Jason Smith, you have everything that you want in your captain,” said Flyers Head Coach John Stevens. “He has a lot of experience in this position. He is kind of a father figure that just naturally looks out for the group. We just thought that he was an ideal fit.”
“We had a long, hard consideration for Simon Gagne because he brings so many things to the table. He is a world-class player, he’s grown up here and we just thought it was important that he wore the permanent “A” for that reason. We’ve got a young team here and we think Mike Richards bridges that gap. Richards has really stepped it up this year. He has really taken responsibility on and off the ice. He is ready to take on that responsibility and up his level of play. We thought that we have everything covered there with the new guy involved in the captaincy (Smith), with a player that has been here in Gagne and a younger player that we think is ready to take a much bigger bite of responsibility here (Richards).”
“I need to make sure that we are ready to play every night and that we are playing at a high level and executing well, whether that means yelling and screaming a little before the game or just making sure that guys are confident and ready when guys are down,” said Smith. “We need to make sure that everybody is playing at a high level and not getting down. Things can snowball quickly in this league. It is a very competitive league and we have to be ready to go from start to finish.”
Smith, 33, is in his first season with the Flyers. He was acquired by the Flyers, along with Joffrey Lupul, from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Joni Pitkanen, Geoff Sanderson and a third round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft on July 1, 2007.
Entering his 14th NHL season, Smith has registered 39 goals and 119 assists for 158 points and 966 penalty minutes in 868 regular season games with the New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton. Smith had served as captain of the Oilers for five seasons (2001-02 through 2003-04, 2005-06 and 2006-07).
Gagne, 27, is in his eighth season in the NHL, all with the Flyers. He has recorded 201 goals and 191 assists for 392 points and 185 penalty minutes in 502 regular season games with the Flyers. He is in 19th place on the team’s All-Time List in points (392). He was drafted by the Flyers in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
Richards, 22, is in his third season in the NHL, all with the Flyers. He has registered 21 goals and 45 assists for 66 points and 117 penalty minutes in 138 regular season games with the Flyers. He was drafted by the Flyers in the first round (24th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.