April 23, 1958
New Westminster, BC
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
2nd overall, 1978
|Career||1978 – 1993|
Ryan William Walter (born April 23, 1958 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada) is a former professional ice hockey centre who played fifteen seasons in the National Hockey League. He is currently an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks.
Walter was drafted 2nd overall by the Washington Capitals in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. He was the captain of the Capitals before he 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. He won a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1986, though 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 Bud Light NHL Man of the Year award. He was known as a tough, hard-working player who was excellent in the face-off circle.
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.
Walter then went on to work as a motivational speaker, author and leadership expert, using his experiences in hockey to relate to business and success.
On June 17, 2008, Walter was named an assistant coach to Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks.
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 plays himself on an episode of Being Ian.
Ryan has three sons who are also hockey players. His oldest son, Ben, currently plays in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils. Joey spent 2006–07 and 2007-08 with the Langley Chiefs of the BCHL and his other son, Ryan Jr., played for the TWU Titans in 2006-07 and 2007-08 and now plays for the Liberty Flames.
Ryan is a very good friend of former NHL player Doug Smail and often spends summers playing the board game he invented at Doug's cabin in New Denver, BC.