Rob Garner was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round, 75th overall in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft after a three-year career with the Toronto Marlboros of the OMJHL.
In 1978-79 Garner turned pro with the Binghamton Dusters of the AHL. In fact it took four years of playing in the minors before Garner had his one and only chance to play in the NHL. It came during the 1982-83 season when he was called up as an injury replacement for the Penguins. The balance of his season was spent with the Baltimore Skipjacks where he recorded 21 goals and 53 points which marked his best season as a pro.
Garner realized making it to the NHL on a full-time basis was not a realistic possibility and decided to retire at the age of 24.