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Pittsburgh Penguins forward Reilly Smith stepping on the ice for the first home game of the season
Photo credit: NHL

Reilly Smith opens up about disappointing season with the Penguins

Published April 23, 2024 at 8:04 PM
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Graham Montgomery
April 23, 2024  (8:04 PM)
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The Pittsburgh Penguins ultimately had a disappointing season this year as they missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Recently, forward Reilly Smith shared his thoughts on his first year with the team.

Smith's first year with the Penguins certainly did not go as planned. The same can be said for the team as a whole. He had just 13 goals this season, half of his total last season with the Vegas Golden Knights. The veteran forward owned up to this, saying he needs to be better next season. He looks forward to an offseason where he can rest and recuperate for next year.

«Frustrating. Obviously, (I) didn't live up to my own standard or expectation that I wanted to. So those things, they're hard to swallow. You have to just look into the summer and try to fix the things that didn't go your way. Thankfully, there's a long summer, and there's a lot of things I can learn from.»

Of course, part of the reason Smith might have had such a downturn is because he wasn't expecting to be traded in the first place. After all, he was a reasonably big part of Vegas' Stanley Cup championship. There were reports earlier this year that Smith never wanted to be traded and wished he was still part of the Golden Knights franchise.


Reilly Smith struggled all season with the Penguins and part of that may be because he never wanted to join the team. #LetsGoPens



Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas gave Smith some slack in his post-season debrief, saying injuries derailed his season, both for Smith himself and his linemates, making it difficult to develop consistent chemistry. Like Smith, he expects a strong bounce back from him next year as he enters the final year of his contract.

Dubas on Reilly Smith:

«From mid November on, I thought Rakell was hurt and Malkin wasn't very good. I think that affected Reilly. Then (Smith) got hurt.»

Said Smith w/Eller, Puustinen «was best fit.»

«I expect bounce back year.»



We will just have to wait and see what is in store for the Penguins next season. Kyle Dubas has been adamant about getting the team back in the playoffs, but that may not be particularly likely. However, a bounce back season from Smith would certainly help. At the very least, it could increase his trade value should the team settle for being sellers at the trade deadline once again next year.

Source: TribLive
Reilly Smith takes ownership of disappointing debut campaign with Penguins
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