Not many people can say that they have a statue erected in their likeness and if you were to ask Gary, he would probably deny it. But in front of the Philadelphia Flyers Spectrum, there is a bronze monument depicting Garyscoring a key overtime goal during one of his team’s Stanley Cup winning seasons. Local boy makes good. Gary grew up in Kitchener, and like any other young Canadian; his goal was to become a National Hockey League player. Although Gary only attended Eastwood for one year, he has fond memories of his time the Eastwood Junior Football team. This may have been his training ground for his future career in the NHL. Gary’s style of hockey involved positioning himself in front of the opposition’s net and absorbing blows from irate defencemen and goaltenders.
Despite the pummeling he took over his career,he still managed to play a total of 15 years in professional hockey. Eleven of these years were in the NHL, in the era of the “original six”. Gary also played in two All Star Games.
With his playing days over, Gary became involved with the Canadian iconic tradition of Hockey Night in Canada, as part of the broadcasting team, where he spent 11 years as a colour commentator. He then rejoined his former team in a different capacity, becoming involved with the Philadelphia Flyers broadcasting and public relations for three years.
Even in retirement, Gary is not content to sit idle, but stays involved in his community, making convalescent visits to local hospitals and retirement homes. As well, he is actively involved with his church. His other passion is rescuing and finding homes for grey hounds, a humanitarian effort that he and his wife have embraced.
Although Gary has been out of the game of hockey for some time, his competitive juices still flow; golfing at least three times a week, he has managed to whittle his score down to a 2 handicap. His goal is to shoot his age.
Eastwood Collegiate pays tribute to Gary, as his style of play is reflective of the true Rebel spirit of grit, determination and passion.