April 21, 2016

Garry Galley

Hockey has been his focus all of Garry Galley's life - first as a long time NHL player and then as a very successful broadcaster.

Galley was such a good player as a kid that by the time he turned 18 in 1981 he had earned a full scholarship to Bowling Green University in Ohio.

By 1983 the Los Angeles Kings selected Galley 100th overall in the entry draft. Not too many NHL scouts had ever expected that this NCAA all star would play 1149 NHL games over 17 years.

He was a mobile puck mover who worked well on the power play. He was not a true number one defenseman, but often was shoe-horned in that role because of his imaginative puck movement.

Defensively Galley was not overly big and did not intimidate too many players. He was adept at keeping his opponent to the outside and neutralizing him against the boards. He played his own brand of tough hockey, but kept it clean and rarely got involved in the after-the-whistle non-sense.

After leading Bowling Green to the NCAA title in 1984, Galley turned pro in 1984-85. He jumped right into the Kings roster, playing 78 games for L.A., scoring eight goals and 38 points in his rookie season. However injuries would plague Galley's development in LA and midway through the 1986-87 season he was traded to the Washington Capitals.

Galley only played one full season in the U.S. capital before he signed with the Boston Bruins as a free agent in the summer of 1988. He helped solidify a blueline that featured Ray Bourque and that was the back bone of the 1990 Prince of Wales championship Bruins team.

Midway through the 1992-93 season Galley was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. Galley enjoyed his best individual seasons in Philly. He posted 62 and 70 points in his first two season with the Flyers, respectively.

The Buffalo Sabres acquired Galley in April 1995 in exchange for defenseman Petr Svoboda. The veteran puck mover had a steadying influence on the Sabres blue line for more than 2 full seasons. He was also a good contributor to the power play. He had to overcome a mysterious chronic fatigue illness while playing Buffalo.

Galley returned to his beginnings in the summer of 1997 when he signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Kings. He played three more seasons, plus one final season with the New York Islanders before retiring in 2001.

Galley likely would have kept playing beyond 2001 but he was essentially forced out of hockey because of injuries sustained in a fight with Buffalo's Vaclav Varada. Galley seriously injured his shoulder, and despite his incredible rehab schedule, NHL teams shied away from the 38 year old.

Galley would go on to become a long time NHL broadcaster.

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