ABBOTSFORD, BC – The Abbotsford Heat announced today that Ryan Walter has been named President of the Abbotsford Heat Hockey Ltd. of the American Hockey League, the primary affiliate of the Calgary Flames.
"We are so pleased to be able to have a person with Ryan’s character and hockey pedigree running the Abbotsford Heat," said Lane Sweeting, Chairman of Fraser Valley Sports and Entertainment and Abbotsford Heat Hockey Ltd. "As a long time resident of the Lower Mainland and having played and coached in this market, Ryan was a perfect fit to lead our organization."
Walter, a native of New Westminister, BC, played 15 seasons in the NHL with the Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens and concluded with the Vancouver Canucks in 1993 being named the Budweiser NHL Man of the Year. He played 1,003 career games, scoring 264 goals and adding 382 points for 646 points. Walter played an additional 113 playoff games, highlighted by winning the Stanley Cup in 1986 and making the Cup Finals in 1991 as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
On June 17, 2008, Walter was named an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks where he manned the bench alongside head coach Alain Vigneault for two seasons. On September 21, 2010, Walter accepted the position of head coach with Canada's women's hockey team which he guided to a Gold Medal at the 2010 Four Nations Cup.
In addition to his playing and coaching career, Walter spent five years in broadcasting. From 1993–94 until 1997–98, he worked for TSN as a hockey colour commentator. He worked on broadcasts for the NHL, CHL, and IIHF. He has worked five Memorial Cups, one IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, and four IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championships. From 1996–97 until 2001–02, he was the color commentator on Vancouver Canucks television broadcasts on BCTV, Rogers Sportsnet and VTV.
"I look forward to leading the Abbotsford Heat and am thrilled to be part of this franchise in my own community," comments Walter. "The American Hockey League is second only to the NHL in both talent and excitement. I have had the opportunity to watch many AHL games and have witnessed first-hand the courage, intensity, and desire in these players who are eager to take the next step. I am excited to begin connecting with our players, fans, community, and our entire Abbotsford Heat team."