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Canadian Champion (Milton, ON), 21 Nov 2019, p. 28

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8 I COMMUNITY ber 21, 2019 | : HAYDAR HONOURED BY HIS HOMETOWN, 2 AND THE AHL --- S HERB GARBUTT E F Too small. Not fast T enough. 8 Darren Haydar heard c all the critiques. : "I remember it as clear as day," Haydar recalls, "Standing in the Thomp- son Road Arena and a par- ent saidto my parents, 'It's too bad Darren's not going to be on the team next year . when body contact starts.' That motivated me." Of course, he was on the team the next year. Still scoring like he always had. Still, the doubters per- sisted. At 5-foot-9, he won't be able to do that at the next level, they would say, only to be proven wrong once again. There was only one lev- el of hockey that Haydar truly never got the chance to prove himself and that was the NHL. He played 23 games over four seasons with three teams, scoring eight points *with limited ice time. But even off the ice, Haydar was a step ahead. Years ahead actually. "I didn't agree with the philosophy at the time of how teams were built," ; ONTARIO JUNIOR CITIZEN AWARDS Haydar said. "You had two "scoring lines, a checking line and a line of fighters." Today, the line of fight- 'ers is all but extinct, mak- ing room for smaller, skilled players like Haydar to develop and flourish. "I'm definitely excited about where, the game is now," Haydar says. Instead of dwelling on what eluded him, the 40- year-old has come to cher- ish what he accomplished in a career that saw him win two Calder Cups, and will see him enshrined in the American Hockey League Hall of Fame in January. "I appreciate it more now, especially at this stage," Haydar says. "At the time I felt I deserved to be (in the NHL), so that competitor, that drive in me, just kept me going af- ter that. But I look back now and I got to play hock- ey for a living for 14 years." The honours have come close to home as well. Hay- dar was honoured by his hometown last Thursday (Nov. 14), inducted into the Milton Sports Fall of Fame. "It's such a great ho- nour. There's no real words to show how grate- ful I am," Haydar said. "So many people in the com- munity supported me. Other parents taking me to hockey on the weekends NOMINATIONS WANTED Do you know someone between the ages of 6-17 who is making a different 2 within their community? Nominate A HALL OF FAME STAMP ON SENSATIONAL CAREER Hamilton Spectator Darren Haydar, shown with the Grand Rapids Griffins during his 11-year American Hockey League career, was inducted into the Milton Sports Hall of Fame Thursday. He will also join the AHL Hall of Fame in January. "At the time | felt | deserved to be (in the NHL), so that competitor, that drive in me, just kept me going after that. But | look back now and | got to play hockey for a living for 14 years." while my parents were taking my brothers to games. It really does take community. And that's something you really ap- preciate is the sense of 7s -Darren Haydar, Mitton Sports Hall of Fame inductee community in a town like Milton." Milton is where Haydar first showed the promise that would lead to his ho- nours. As a 16-year-old on ' them for an Ontario Junior Citizen Award today! DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 30, 2019 Nomination forms are available from this newspaper, and at www Or call 416-923-7724 ext. 4439 his hometown Merchants -- playing against the 20- year-olds who were going to push him around -- he racked up 100 points. He followed that with a then COORDINATED BY ocna MILTON SPORTS HALL OF FAME ARE.. Janet Campbell The driving force behind the Milton Springers' success and evolution, Janet Campbell spent | 30 years as the local gymnastics | club's head coach and chief | administrator. She helped mold a number of | athletes who'd go on to success at the university and national | level. | Nell Teague | A dependable slugger at every level of competitive softball, Neil Teague racked up a slew of individual accolades and team | titles on the provincial, national and international stage over an esteemed 38-year career. He's now helping mold young talent as a sought-after coach. Jim Ridley Synonymous with Canadian baseball, Jim Ridley was an outfielder with the Milwaukee Braves in the mid-60s before his 26 years as a scout with the Blue Jays -- where he was the driving force behind such notable signings as Paul Spoljaric, Rob Butler and David Corrente. Leon Stickle A self-described 'terrible referee-baiter' as a young player, Leon Stickle would ironically go | on to an illustrious 27-year career as an official in the NHL. That included six Stanley Cup finals, four all-star games and | more than 2,200 regular season | and playoff games. 1 ¥ See - page 29

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