Michel Galarneau played three years with the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL. Following his second season with the team, which saw him produce 39 goals and 103 points, he was selected in the second round, 29th overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft.
Midway through his final year in junior, Galarneau was called up to play 30 games with the Whalers where he had a pair of goals and eight points while seeing limited ice time. In his first full year as a pro in 1981-82 Galarneau was based primarily with the Binghamton Whalers although he did get the call to play with Hartford for ten games.
Galarneau remained with the organization through the 1983-84 season but came to the realization he was not going to be part of the team's plans moving forward. He then decided to accept an offer to play in Holland for one year. From there he moved on to the French league where he began a six-year association with HC Amiens. He made a full career playing in France and even represented that country at the 1995 World Championships. He retired after the 1999-00 season as a member of HC Brest of the French Second Division at the age of 39.