Ah, the middle of summer where we watch hockey and reminisce over random small August trades that turned into something more.

And today is like no other as on August 22nd, 1979, the Oilers traded Reg Thomas to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 1981 6th round pick.

That pick Edmonton used to select defenceman Steve Smith 111th overall. While Thomas never played for the Oilers, the team did claim him in June 1979 in the expansion draft.

As a matter of fact, Thomas never even played for the Leafs, who traded him to Quebec in December 1979. Thomas’ only NHL games came with the Nordiques when he appeared in 39 games scoring nine goals and 16 points.

Smith, on the other hand, had a long career in the NHL. He played seven years for the Oilers scoring 218 points in 385 games. The most tumultuous goal of his career, however, came on April 30th 1986 when he scored an own-goal against the Calgary Flames in game seven of the Smythe Division finals.

But beyond that, Smith was a great defenceman in Edmonton for a long time. He put up points in a secondary role and racked up penalty minutes like no other totalling 2139 in his career.

I never quite realized the offensive upside Smith had to his game, but then again, I wasn’t even alive when he was playing in his heyday in Edmonton.

The Oilers eventually traded Smith to the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 2, 1991 in exchange for Dave Manson and a 1992 3rd round pick that turned into Kirk Maltby.

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