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Wesley Walz (born May 15, 1970) is a Canadianmarker professional ice hockey assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League (NHL). Previously, he played centre for the Minnesota Wild of the NHL. Walz skated in 607 NHL games in 11 seasons with Boston, Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit, and Minnesota. He had 260 points (109 goals, 151 assists) and 343 PIM and earned 40 career multi-point games.

Playing career

Walz was drafted by the Boston Bruins 57th overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. At the time, he was playing for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL), a team for which he played two seasons, playing 119 games and scoring 83 goals and 161 assists for 244 points in that span. For the next seven seasons, Walz was a fringe NHLer, playing a good chunk of his time in the American Hockey League (AHL). He averaged better than a point per game in the AHL, but it never got him a full-time NHL job. He did manage to score a career-high 38 points in 53 games for the Calgary Flames in 1993–94, but in 1996 he left North American Hockey for the Swiss league.

After four seasons in Switzerlandmarker, Walz returned to North America by signing a contract with the expansion Minnesota Wild. During training camp for the Wild, Walz displayed an extremely hard work ethic and seemingly unstoppable amount of energy on the ice. Due to his efforts, Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire almost immediately dubbed Walz as his "checker", placing him primarily on the checking line. This was a turning point in Walz's career, as he became not only a full-time NHL player with Minnesota, but also one of the league's best defensive forwards and considered by many as one of the league's premier "ironmen" comparable with players such as Rod Brind'Amour. In his first season back, Walz played all 82 regular season games, scoring 18 goals of which seven were shorthanded. When the Wild made the playoffs in 2003, Walz was there helping them make it all the way to the semi-finals, scoring seven goals and six assists in 18 games.

On November 1, 2007, Walz left the team due to personal reasons. On November 8, 2007, he was granted an indefinite leave of absence by the Wild.

On December 1, 2007, The Minnesota Wild held a press conference where Walz announced his retirement. Walz retired as the franchise's leader in all-time games played, although he is now in second behind Marian Gaborik. His retirement left Gaborik as the only remaining player from the Wild's inaugural season in 2000–01. However, now there are no players left because of Gaborik's release and Free Agent signing with the New York Rangers

See also

External links


2005 NHL Official Guide & Record Book ISBN 0-920445-91-8

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