Haydar leaves AHL for Germany

After 11 seasons in the AHL, Darren Haydar has signed a one-year deal with EHC Munchen of the DEL.

Haydar, who captained the Chicago Wolves last season, leaves the AHL as 14th all-time in points. In 774 regular season games, Haydar has registered 292 goals to go along with 496 assists — he’s 10th all-time in assists — putting him at over a point-per-game in the AHL, territory shared with some of the greatest players in AHL history.

Maybe the most notable offensive season of Haydar’s career came in 2006-07, when the 5-foot-9 forward put up an amazing 122 points in 73 games. That season, Haydar set career highs in both goals and assists with 41 and 81 respectively. He followed his regular season performance up with another 24 points (10-14) in 15 playoff games, but his Chicago Wolves fell short of a Calder Cup.

However, the following year, Haydar helped the Wolves to a Calder Cup Championship. With 27 points (12-15) in 24 playoff games, the Milton, Ont. native lead the way for the Wolves. The 2007-08 championship was the second of his career — he had won his first in 2003-04 during his sophomore season with the Milwaukee Admirals — and signalled the end of Haydar’s most productive years of his career, but he would continue to be nearly a point per game player.

The laundry list of honours heaped upon Haydar reads like those of a future AHL Hall of Famer: Two time Calder Cup Champion, 06-07 Sollenberger Trophy (Most Points), Les Cunningham Award (MVP), and First Team All-Star, 02-03 Red Garrett Award (Rookie of the Year), 11-12 AHL All-Star.

While there will be those that argue Haydar’s talent — in 23 NHL games he scored one goal and tallied seven assists — the fact of the matter is that he maintained steady production and stayed in the AHL while having veteran status for several seasons. He was a bonafide AHL star, something the league doesn’t have in droves, and, at 33 years old, it may be unlikely he comes back.

Haydar will join recently departed AHL forward Jon DiSalvatore in Munchen. During his career, Haydar suited up with the Wolves, Lake Erie Monsters, Grand Rapids Griffins, and Milwaukee Admirals.

The Graduate: Bruce Boudreau

The Graduate is an American Hockey Blog feature that highlights a notable AHL alumnus, their career, and what makes them so special to AHL lore. It also happens to be the title of a 1967 film starring Dustin Hoffman, which has been praised by the American Film Institute. These things are not related.

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For most modern hockey fans, the lasting image of Bruce “Gabby” Boudreau includes a smattering of barbecue sauce, but the Anaheim Ducks head coach is an American Hockey League icon.

Boudreau, primarily a centre throughout his playing days, began his professional career in the 1975-76 season as a member of the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association. Boudreau played a mere 30 games with the Fighting Saints, managing three goals and six helpers. The next year, Boudreau would make his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his inability to stick with the big club would lead to the beginning of an illustrious minor league career. Continue reading