Garry Valk pleases fans at alumni signing

Thursday, 13.10.2011 / 6:23 PM / Community
Vancouver Canucks

Garry Valk took some time to sign autographs for fans at Rogers Arena on Oct. 29th, moments before the Canucks took down the Washington Capitals in an epic 7-4 battle. Many of the younger fans knew Garry from his current gig talking Canucks hockey on Sportsnet, while the older crowd was familiar with his time in a Canucks uniform. Garry was busy throughout the evening as fans of all ages poured in for autographs and photos with the player turned TV analyst.

Valk was selected 108th overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft before going on to have a distinguished NHL career spanning over a decade. Debuting with the Vancouver Canucks in the 1990–91 season, Valk scored ten goals and eleven assists for twenty-one points, while recording sixty-seven penalty minutes. Valk's career year came in 1993–94, when he recorded forty-five points in seventy-eight games for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, after being selected in the NHL's expansion draft.

Arguably his best work came in the late 1990s, when he was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Valk became a player coach Pat Quinn depended on, fighting off opponents in crucial situations while always posing an offensive threat.

Career highlights for Valk include the 1998–1999 playoffs, when he scored a key overtime goal to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the NHL playoffs. As well, the spring of 1999 saw Valk elected President of Northern Secondary School in Toronto, a feat never accomplished by an individual not enrolled at the school.

After a brief stint in 2003 with the Chicago Blackhawks, Valk retired to pursue an interest in broadcasting, and to spend time with his wife, son, daughter and Boston terrier named Lola.

Today, Garry coaches his son's junior hockey team in North Vancouver, British Columbia, and was featured in a Canadian Business Magazine article on athletes who have gone on to be successful after their careers. He is also a Vancouver Canucks analyst on the sports news show Sportsnet Connected.