Mid-to-late 1990s Flyers goaltender Garth Snow was born July 28, 1969 in Wrentham, Massachusetts. The Quebec Nordiques drafted the big-framed (6-foot-3, 201-pound) product of Mount Saint Charles Academy in the sixth round (114th overall) of the 1987 NHL Draft.
Snow played college hockey at the University of Maine, graduating in 1993. The next year was a pivotal one in his early career, as Snow made the Team USA squad for the 1994 Olympics and also debuted at the professional level, seeing time with both the Nordiques in the National Hockey League and Cornwall Aces in the American Hockey League. He spent also spent time in both leagues during the lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign. The significant majority of the time was spent with Cornwall.
Shortly after the Nordiques relocated their franchise to Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche, the club traded Snow to Philadelphia. The Flyers dealt 1996 third-round (Shawn McNeil) and 6th-round (Kai Fischer) picks to obtain Snow.
An eager puckhandler with an aggressively competitive disposition on the ice and a sardonic sense of humor both on and off the ice, Snow's style was somewhat reminiscent of new Flyers teammate Ron Hextall. The two quickly became friends.
The Flyers started out the 1995-96 season with three goaltenders, with incumbent Dominic Roussel holding down the primary backup slot to Hextall. However, Snow eventually beat out Roussel for the spot. In 1995-96, Snow appeared in 26 games for the Flyers, posting a 12-8-4 record, 2.88 goals against average and .894 save percentage.
The next season, Snow moved closer to split-time starter status. He played in 35 regular season games, posting a 14-8-8 record, 2.52 GAA, .903 SV% and three shutouts in the regular season. In the playoffs, Snow started out the postseason as Philadelphia's starter and wound up sharing time with Hextall as head coach Terry Murray juggled the two netminders in and out of the starting lineup. The arrangement worked until the 1997 Stanley Cup Final. Overall, Snow appeared in 12 games during the Flyers' 1997 playoff run, producing an 8-4 record, 2.83 GAA and .892 save percentage.
Snow appeared in 29 games for the Flyers in 1997-98 (14-9-4 record, 2.43 GAA, .902 save percentage). On March 4, 1998, the Flyers swapped Snow with the Vancouver Canucks for goaltender Sean Burke in a one-for-one exchange.
Over the course of his 90 regular season games as a Flyer, Snow racked up 66 penalty minutes in addition to his 40-25-16 record, 2.59 GAA, and even .900 save percentage. He also had 11 playoff penalty minutes and a pair of assists in 13 postseason games as a Flyer.
Snow's most memorable tussles as a Flyer came against the Buffalo Sabres. Snow's prodding goaded an injury-faking Matthew Barnaby to suddenly sprung up from the ice unhurt to attack the goalie, triggering a line brawl in a game in Buffalo on March 26, 1996. In the ensuing fights, Snow tangled with Buffalo goaltender Andrei Trefilov. The next spring, when the Flyers faced the Sabres in the second round of the playoffs, Snow fought opposing goaltender Steve Shields.
Something else that Snow was known for during his playing days: donning massively oversized shoulder pads under an oversized jersey.
After his time playing with the Flyers, Snow played two-plus seasons with the Canucks, one with the Pittsburgh Penguins and three with the New York Islanders. For his NHL career, Snow appeared in 368 regular season games (135-147-44 record, 2.80 GAA, .900 SV%, 16 shutouts) and 20 total playoff games (9-8, 2.77 GAA, .896 SV%, one shutout).
On July 18, 2006, Snow retired as a player and was named the Islanders' general manager. Ten years later, the former goalie still held the post.