Senior Advisor to the General Manager
Smyl has spent his entire professional hockey career with the Canucks organization and now serves as Senior Advisor to the General Manager. In his role, Smyl works closely with General Manager, Mike Gillis, on a number of initiatives in the Hockey Operations Department, while continuing his responsibilities for scouting and evaluating the collegiate game in North America. Smyl began his career with the Canucks as a player, then coach and most recently worked in a Player Development capacity.
Smyl retired as a player on July 3, 1991 and was hired as a Canucks Assistant Coach on the same day. He served in the assistant capacity until June 18, 1999, when he was named Head Coach of Vancouver’s top affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch (AHL). The 2000-01 season saw Smyl and the Canucks minor league team move to Kansas City (IHL), then to Manitoba (AHL) where Smyl was Head Coach for four seasons.
Often described as the “heart and soul” of the Canucks during his playing career, Smyl turned skeptics into believers by establishing team records for games played (896), goals (262), assists (411) and points (673). This combined with a feisty, hard-nosed style of play saw him lead Vancouver in goals (31), assists (47), points (78) and penalty minutes (204) in the 1979-80 seasons.
Three times named Canucks MVP, Smyl served the longest term as team captain (1982-90) in franchise history. He received the highest honour awarded by a club on Nov. 3, 1991 when the Canucks retired his No. 12 jersey, raising it to the rafters in the Canucks former home, the Pacific Coliseum.