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Haydar joins AHL’s 500-point club

Grand Rapids forward Darren Haydar added another chapter to his storied AHL career when he registered his 500th career AHL point with a goal in the Griffins’ 4-1 loss to Lake Erie on Saturday.

Haydar now shows 188 goals and 312 assists in 467 career games and becomes the 73rd member of the AHL’s 500-point club.

A Toronto native, Haydar broke into the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals in 2002-03 and immediately made an impact. He earned AHL rookie of the year honors after pacing the Admirals with 29 goals – the first of five straight 20-goal campaigns – and 75 points en route to a Calder Cup Playoffs berth.

Haydar tallied 22 more goals and 59 more points in 2003-04 before leading Milwaukee to the Calder Cup championship with a team-high 26 points in the postseason.

Haydar topped the 20-goal plateau twice more with Milwaukee and led the Admirals back to the Calder Cup Finals in 2006.

The potent forward then joined the Chicago Wolves for the 2006-07 season, during which Haydar promptly racked up a league-record 39-game scoring streak and led the AHL with 122 points in 73 regular-season games.

He added 58 points in 51 games during the 2007-08 campaign before helping the Wolves to the 2008 Calder Cup championship, becoming the AHL’s all-time leader in playoff goals (55) and points (124) along the way.

After Saturday’s tally, the 29-year-old Haydar is two scores shy of his sixth 20-goal AHL campaign, and his Griffins (31-10-6-4) are tied with Manitoba atop the North Division and on track to return to the Calder Cup Playoffs after a one-year absence.