Originally selected in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues, Garrett would instead begin his professional career in 1973-74 with the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association. He would play with the Fighting Saints until leaving the team Feb. 25, 1976, three days before the franchise folded. He then signed with the Toronto Toros, and would follow the Toros franchise when it relocated to Birmingham. In the final WHA season, Garrett was traded to the New England Whalers, and would remain with the franchise when it entered the NHL. Currently, he still holds the record for the most wins by any goalie in WHA history. Garrett would also play for the Quebec Nordiques and Vancouver Canucks of the NHL before retiring.
John Garrett was involved in one of the oddest scenarios in the history of the NHL All-Star Game. Replacing an injured Richard Brodeur, the Vancouver Canucks only representative at the 1983 NHL All-Star game that year, John Garrett was voted the game’s MVP before the end of the game. After Wayne Gretzky scored four times in the last ten minutes, a re-vote was held and Gretzky was named the All-Star Game MVP.
Garrett retired after the 1984–85 season and, after serving as the Canucks assistant general manager for one season, began his broadcasting career in 1986–87. He worked as a colour commentator on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. Within a few years, he was considered a valuable member of the team and was assigned his first conference final in 1991--his first of eight in a row. In addition to HNIC, he also worked alongside Bruce Buchanan on Edmonton Oilers television broadcasts. He left CBC in 1998 to join the fledgling CTV Sportsnet (now Rogers Sportsnet). He worked as a studio analyst on national broadcasts, as well as the colour commentator for the Calgary Flames games on Sportsnet West.
Since the 2002–03 season, Garrett has served as the colour commentator for Canucks games on Sportsnet Pacific, and Flames games for Sportsnet West. He also works sparingly for Hockey Night in Canada.
- 1969-70 Dave Pinkney Trophy (Best goals against average - Ontario Hockey League)
- 1970-71 Dave Pinkney Trophy
- Profile at hockeydraftcentral.com
- John Garrett's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
- John Garrett's biography at Legends of Hockey
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