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Where are they now? Ryan Walter
MONTREAL | October 4th, 2012
Where are they now? Ryan Walter
The Canadiens didn’t pile up 100 years of history without the blood, sweat and tears of the over 750 players to have ever worn the uniform. From the likes of Donald Audette to Zarley Zalapski, there are former Habs scattered all over the world. Although many hardcore Canadiens fans can rattle off the career accomplishments of hundreds of their old heroes, the question remains: what are these guys up to today? On the hot seat today: Ryan Walter.

Where do you live now?
My wife and I have been living in Langley, BC, for about 13 years now. When I left the Canadiens in 1991 to play for the Vancouver Canucks, we moved to White Rock, BC, before going to Langley.

What are you doing now?
Since August 2011, I’ve been the President of the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League. I also give quite of bit of leadership/team performance conferences to help teams pull together in hard times. I don’t know how I started being interested in that, but I’m just a curious guy. When I was captain of the Washington Capitals or assistant captain with the Canadiens, I was just very interested in what worked and what didn’t. I was always reading about leadership. That’s why after my playing career, I went back to school at 45 years old and did my Masters degree in leadership business. It’s one thing to lead, but it’s another thing to teach leadership. I’m actually thinking about giving some conferences in Montreal in the next year.

How many times per year do you lace up the skates?
Like many of my peers, I have a brand new left hip. I’m a bionic man now! Since that surgery two years ago, I’m a little more careful. That’s why I haven’t done a lot of the oldtimers stuff recently. But I still go on the ice to coach kids. That’s my passion now.

Are you still in touch with any former teammates?
I am, but not as often as I’d like. Bobby Smith and I talk a lot since we’re both in the hockey business. As much as we like to talk about the on ice stuff, we talk as much about the sales side and off-ice revenues.

How many Canadiens games do you watch per year?
I try to catch as many games as possible. My wife and I were in Montreal for 10 years so I only wish them the best.

When was the last time you were in Montreal to watch a game?
It’s been a couple years now. When Bob Gainey was still working for the team, I did a little bit of work with the rookies and after with the big team. I gave quite a few sessions on team building and leadership.

Who is your favorite player on the current roster?
It’s been a while since I last talked to Carey Price, but I’m always interested in watching the goaltenders in Montreal. With all the different goalies that have passed by through the years, that’s the pressure situation in Montreal. I’m listening in when I see a quote in the paper or something about the goalies over there.

What is your favorite piece of Canadiens memorabilia that you own?
Other than the Stanley cup ring? At home I have one of my Habs jersey framed on the wall. I just love looking at it; it reminds me how much I loved it there. But I’m so glad that when the Forum closed, I was able to purchase two seats that my wife sat in during the nine seasons I was there.

Is there a game in particular from your career with the Canadiens that stands out the most?
Winning the Cup in 1986 was certainly the big game, but losing in the Finals in 1989 was such a disappointment to me. It was bitter-sweet to me. I scored a big goal in double-overtime in the Finals was one of my personal highlights, but losing the series to the Flames was a complete disappointment.

Where do you keep your Stanley Cup ring?
I still have it with me and I recently was able to take some photos with my family with the Stanley Cup. Back in the days, the players did get the chance to have the Cup for a day like now.