Milwaukee Admirals President Jon Greenberg announced today that the team will retire Admirals legend Darren Haydar’s jersey at their game against the Chicago Wolves on Friday, February 21 at 7 pm at Panther Arena. In addition, the first 5,000 fans to the game will receive a bobblehead of Haydar holding the Calder Cup, courtesy of Lee Jeans.
“Milwaukee holds a very special place in my heart,” said Haydar. “I was fortunate to get my start in professional hockey there and I played for great coaches and we won the Calder Cup. I was always taught: ‘You remember the guys you win with, not the ones you lose with.’ Most importantly, I met my wife while playing in Milwaukee and we now have three amazing healthy young boys.”
Simply put, Haydar was the best player on the best teams in Admirals history. He guided the Ads to a sweep of Wilkes-Barre in the 2004 Calder Cup Finals, the lone professional championship in team history, and helped Milwaukee to a return trip to the Finals two years later. Over 13 years after playing his last game for the Admirals, Haydar is still the team’s all-time leading AHL scorer (276 points) and is the only player to top the century mark in career goals (110) since the club joined their new league in 2001.
As good of a player as he was during the regular season he was even better in the playoffs. He led the AHL in post-season scoring in 2004 with 26 points and 11 goals and would have been the league’s playoff MVP that season if not for Wade Flaherty’s 16 wins in net. Amazingly he bested those numbers when the Ads lost in the finals in 2006, once again leading the league in points with 35 and goals with 20. He posted at least a point in 19 of the Ads 21 games, including an eye-popping 12 multi-points efforts.
Originally drafted by the Predators in the 9th round of the 1999 NHL Draft, Haydar broke onto the professional scene in 2002, earning AHL Rookie of the Year honors as he led the team and was tied for 6th place in the league with 75 points (29g-46a). He paced the Ads in scoring in three of his four seasons in Milwaukee, and his 92 points in 2005-06 was the last time that an Admirals player has topped the 90-point plateau.
After leaving the Admirals the University of New Hampshire alum, played another ten seasons split between the AHL, NHL and four European Leagues. He retired from hockey after the 2015-16 season and currently lives in his hometown on Milton, Ontario with his wife Sara and sons Liam (5), Quinn (4), and Owen (19 months).
In addition to the jersey retirement ceremony and the bobblehead, on that day, the Admirals will wear the burgundy throwback jerseys from Haydar’s time with the team.
The Admirals 2019-20 season, presented by Landmark Credit Union, will begin on the road in Iowa on Sunday, October 6 at 3 pm against Iowa before opening the home portion of their schedule on Saturday, October 12 at 6 pm against the Laval Rocket.