Garry Valk

Vancouver Canucks fans can remember exactly the moment when they knew Gary Valk would be a regular NHL player. He surprised Tie Domi and beat him in a fight. Valk definitely could hold his own.

Not that Valk was a goon by an stretch of the imagination. He had less than a penalty minute per game in his 777 game career. He dropped the gloves occasionally and was surprisingly good at it, but he was far more likely to be found efficiently patrolling his wing than in the penalty box.

Valk was a solid third liner. Determined and gritty, he had a strong work ethic and threw his weight around with enthusiasm. He was tough to play against, and an inspiring teammate. Not flashy by any means, he was a really solid third line winger. You could count on him to do his job in blue collar fashion.

Was he a great defensive forward? He did the job adequately and willing, killing penalties and being strong on both the forecheck and backcheck with his knock-kneed skating. He was solid citizen who could find a job in the league somewhere. At the same time he was the type of player that was always being pushed for a job.

The University of North Dakota alum scored 100 career goals in 777 NHL games. He was a bit of a streaky player, going forever without a sniff than popping a few pucks in the same week. His goals were almost always because of net crashing. He added 156 assists for 256 points.

Gary Valk was a reliable NHL role player for parts of 13 NHL seasons.


Anonymous,  4:13 AM  

I loved Garry Valk when he played for Toronto. He scored some key goals, including an overtime goal that sent the Penguins packing in the 1999 playoffs. He had a cheering section at The ACC known as "The Valk-aholics".

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