Ryan Walter

Ryan William Walter (born April 23, 1958) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey centre who played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League. He was also an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks, head coach of the Canadian National Women's hockey team, a hockey broadcaster and president of the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.

Ryan Walter
Born (1958-04-23) April 23, 1958
New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Washington Capitals
Montreal Canadiens
Vancouver Canucks
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 1978
Washington Capitals
Playing career 19781993

Early life

Walter was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, but grew up in Burnaby, British Columbia. As a youth, he played in the 1971 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Burnaby.[1]

NHL career

Walter was drafted second overall by the Washington Capitals in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. At the time the Capitals named him as team captain in his second season, he was the youngest player in the history of the NHL to hold that position. Walter was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in a blockbuster trade in 1982. He went to Montreal along with Rick Green in exchange for Doug Jarvis, Rod Langway, Craig Laughlin and Brian Engblom. Walter's name is engraved on the Stanley Cup, which the Canadiens won in 1986 though Walter was injured for most of the playoffs. In the 1989 Stanley Cup Finals, he scored in the second overtime period of game three to give the Canadiens a 2–1 series lead. However, the Calgary Flames came back to win the series and the Cup. In 1991, he signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks, where he played the final two seasons of his career and won the Budweiser NHL Man of the Year Award in 1992. He was known as a tough, hard-working player who was excellent in the face-off circle. Walter also served as vice president of the NHLPA.

Broadcasting career

From 1993–94 until 1997–98, he worked for TSN as the network's secondary hockey colour commentator. In this role, he worked on NHL, CHL, and IIHF broadcasts. He worked five Memorial Cups, one World Junior Hockey Championship, and four World Hockey Championships. From 1996–97 until 2001–02, he was the colour commentator on Vancouver Canucks television broadcasts on BCTV, Rogers Sportsnet and VTV. He also occasionally filled in on radio when Tom Larscheid had football duties. In these roles, he was teamed up with, at various times, Jim Robson, Jim Hughson and John Shorthouse.

Coaching career

On June 17, 2008, Walter was named an assistant coach to Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks. He was relieved of his duties after the 2009-10 season. On September 21, 2010, Walter was named head coach of Canada's women's hockey team which won the gold medal at the 2010 Four Nations Cup.[2]

Front office

Walter served as the president of the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League, which is the minor-league affiliate of the Calgary Flames from 2011 to 2014.[3]

Personal life

Walter is a motivational speaker, author and leadership expert, using his experiences in hockey to relate to business and success.

Walter also had a cameo appearance in the movie Miracle, playing the referee in the game between the USA and USSR in Lake Placid and was hired by Disney to be a hockey expert for the movie. He was also hired as a hockey expert for both seasons of Making the Cut, a Nike hockey commercial, and played himself on an episode of the Canadian animated television series Being Ian.

Walter has three sons who are also hockey players. His oldest son, Ben, was drafted by the Boston Bruins of the NHL and currently plays for EC Red Bull Salzburg. Joey spent 2006–07 and 2007–08 with the Langley Chiefs of the BCHL and currently plays for the Trinity Western University Spartans, and his other son, Ryan Jr., played for the TWU Titans in 2006-07 and 2007–08 as well as the Liberty University club hockey team.[4]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1973–74Langley LordsBCJHL624062102
1973–74Kamloops ChiefsWCHL20000
1974–75Langley LordsBCJHL52326092111
1974–75Kamloops ChiefsWCHL98412221122
1975–76Kamloops ChiefsWCHL723549849612391210
1976–77Kamloops ChiefsWCHL71415899100513411
1977–78Seattle BreakersWCHL625471125148
1978–79Calgary WranglersWHL20110
1978–79Washington CapitalsNHL6928275570
1979–80Washington CapitalsNHL80244266106
1980–81Washington CapitalsNHL80244569150
1981–82Washington CapitalsNHL78384987142
1982–83Montreal CanadiensNHL8029467540300011
1983–84Montreal CanadiensNHL7320294983152134
1984–85Montreal CanadiensNHL72191938591227913
1985–86Montreal CanadiensNHL691534494550112
1986–87Montreal CanadiensNHL7623234634177121910
1987–88Montreal CanadiensNHL6113233639112466
1988–89Montreal CanadiensNHL7814173148213586
1989–90Montreal CanadiensNHL708162459110220
1990–91Montreal CanadiensNHL250111250002
1991–92Vancouver CanucksNHL676111749130338
1992–93Vancouver CanucksNHL2530310
NHL totals 1003 264 382 646 946 113 16 35 51 62


Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1978 Canada WJC 6 5 3 8 4
1979 Canada WC 8 4 1 5 4
1981 Canada WC 8 0 1 1 2
1982 Canada WC 4 1 3 4 0
Junior totals 6 5 3 8 4
Senior totals 20 5 5 10 6

See also

  • List of NHL players with 1000 games played


Preceded by
Robert Picard
Washington Capitals first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Tim Coulis
Preceded by
Guy Charron
Washington Capitals captain
Succeeded by
Rod Langway
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