Original Whalers netminder Al Smith was born on this date in 1945 in Toronto, ONT. "Smitty" was one of the all-time great goalies in Whalers history and was a key reason the Whalers won the 1973 WHA championship.
He is also remembered as one of the game's great characters.
His beatdown of Fighting Saints tough guy Bill Butters in the "Brawl in the Mall" is legendary as was his on-ice retirement from the Buffalo Sabres after a pre-game skate in 1976.
The Whalers fortunes plummeted upon his departure in 1975, but his return to Hartford in 1977 helped the team reclaim its former glory.
Smitty passed away from cancer several years ago. He ranks as one the great players in franchise history.