Reilly Smith and Alec Martinez weren’t teammates in Oxford but they have played together for several years with Vegas, so it’s appropriate they both dressed for their 700th NHL game the same night.
And Smith scored twice in that contest, including the game winner.
In Toronto, Smith’s hometown.
It gets even better: He netted the tying goal late in the third period.
Smith is an original member of the Golden Knights, and Martinez joined in 2018-19. Martinez played three seasons at Miami before turning professional in 2008, and Smith chose the same route and joined the Dallas Stars in 2012 after three years with the RedHawks.
In all, eight former RedHawks have dressed for NHL teams this season, and six are regular starters.
Smith and Martinez’s Vegas team has won 12 of its first 14 games, and Columbus returned three of its area-born RedHawks standouts, with two playing crucial roles with the Blue Jackets and the other thriving in AHL Cleveland.
Overall, 38 former Miami players are playing professionally this season, including 17 in the NHL or the AHL, the Triple-A affiliate of the best league in the world.
Some recent highlights by league…
NHL: Smith suffered a down year in 2021-22 partly due to injuries that limited him to 56 games, but he is currently tops on the Golden Knights in goals (7) and second only to Jack Eichel in points (12).
He has scored five goals in his last three games, including two in his milestone game on Wednesday.
Wednesday, Smith completed a give-and-go passing play with William Karlsson by shoveling his return feed home with 8:17 left in regulation to tie the score at three.
Then 23 seconds into overtime, he took a pass from Shea Theodore at the blue line, went in alone and roofed a backhander to win it.
Martinez blocked three shots and went plus-1 in that game.
— Columbus native Jack Roslovic is tied for the Blue Jackets’ lead with five assists, and he also has the team’s lone shorthanded goal, which he scored Oct. 22 vs. Pittsburgh.
Teammate Sean Kuraly, from suburban Dublin, is 2-2-4 in 12 games.
— Speaking of playing for hometown teams, southeastern Michigan native Austin Czarnik scored his first goal with Detroit in the first period on Monday.
AHL: Riley Barber joined his fifth AHL team this fall, and he brought his scoring touch with him. Barber joined Texas (Stars affiliate) this season and former teammate Curtis McKenzie, and he has already netted seven goals and added five assists for a team-best 12 points.
Barber has recorded 161 AHL goals in eight seasons.
McKenzie, in his 11th pro season, is third on the Stars with four goals and has added five helpers.
— Abbotsford’s Michael Regush scored his first professional goal shorthanded on Oct. 23 vs. Coachella Valley.
— Carson Meyer, a Powell, Ohio, native playing for Columbus affiliate Cleveland, recorded the game-winning goal on Nov. 9 in a 5-2 win over Grand Rapids. His goal put the Monsters up, 3-2 with 7:03 left in the second period and came just 11 seconds after Cleveland scored the tying marker.
ECHL: Alex Wideman is back with the Indy Fuel for the first time since 2017-18 and is off to blazing start with his old team, which he leads in points with 12 in eight games.
Wideman played the past three seasons in Europe and spent the 2018-19 campaign with Rockford.
— Justin Vaive is in his eighth season with Cincinnati, and he has already found the net four times. He has scored 106 career goals with the Cyclones.
— Carter Johnson notched just 13 points in four seasons with Miami, but he tallied 45 in his first ECHL season with Wichita, and he is 2-3-5 in seven games for Wheeling.
SPHL: Defenseman Rourke Russell and forward Austin Alger already have four points apiece less than three weeks into the season with their respective franchises.
Europe: Anthony Louis is playing in his first season in the KHL and is third on Nur-Sultan in points with 15. Louis leads his Kazakhstan-based team in shots (75) and is tied for second in power play goals (3).
— No matter where Carter Camper plays, he puts up points. In his 13th pro season and third with Leksands of the Swedish Elite league, Camper already has 12 points in 16 games, tied for second on the team.
Camper recently recorded his 100th point with that franchise and has over 500 professional points between the AHL, SweHL and his three-game stint with the Boston Bruins.
Defenseman Matthew Caito has joined Camper in Sweden and has seven points on the season.
Here are the 2022-23 stats of all former Miamians currently playing pro hockey around the globe:
|NHL||Team||Pos.||GP||G||A||Pts.||PIM||+ / –|
|Reilly Smith||Las Vegas||F||14||7||5||12||2||7|
|Alec Martinez||Las Vegas||D||14||0||1||1||6||0|
|AHL||Team||Pos.||GP||G||A||Pts.||PIM||+ / –|
|Austin Czarnik||Grand Rapids||F||8||5||5||10||2||-2|
|Louie Belpedio||Lehigh Valley||D||7||1||1||2||11||-4|
|ECHL||Team||Pos.||GP||G||A||Pts.||PIM||+ / –|
|SPHL||Team||Pos.||GP||G||A||Pts.||PIM||+ / –|
|Europe||Team||Pos.||GP||G||A||Pts.||PIM||+ / –|
|River Rymsha||Hradec Kralove||D||7||0||0||0||9||-1|
*-not currently with team
Stats through Nov. 9, 2022.