All-star right wing Darren Haydar has been named the Chicago Wolves’ Dan Snyder Man of the Year in recognition of his remarkable commitment to Chicago-area charities and the community during the 2011-12 season.
The award is earned by one Wolves player each season in memory of Snyder, who passed away on Oct. 5, 2003, after suffering head injuries in a car accident. Snyder spent the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons with the Wolves and helped the team capture the 2002 Calder Cup Championship.
Wolves Chairman of the Board Don Levin, Vice Chairman Buddy Meyers, General Manager Wendell Young, and Senior Advisor/Director of Hockey Operations Gene Ubriaco will present HAYDAR with the award Saturday at Allstate Arena shortly before the team’s 7 p.m. contest against Milwaukee.
“What speaks to me most about Darren is just how he connects with the fans and how patient he is and takes time with them,” said Courtney Mahoney, the Wolves Senior Vice President of Operations. “He’s so similar to Dan Snyder in that he has that charisma and infectious attitude that reaches people and brings smiles to their faces.”
HAYDAR has served as the linchpin of multiple Wolves outreach initiatives this year, including the Wolves Wish program that reaches out to families affected by cancer. As part of “Haydar’s Heroes,” the 32-year-old forward treated several young cancer survivors to backstage tours of the team’s facilities after games and practices.
Haydar’s season-long service began in October when he became the team spokesman for the Wolves’ “Stick It to Breast Cancer” promotion that raised thousands of dollars for A Silver Lining Foundation, which provided mammograms for women who otherwise couldn’t afford them. The following month, he won the title of “Mr. Movember” for the mustache he grew to symbolize the battle against prostate cancer. In January, one of his game-worn purple Cancer Survivors jerseys went for more than $4,000 at auction.
HAYDAR also spearheaded the effort for the team’s Adopt-A-Dog program this year. In conjunction with Chicago’s Animal Care and Control, “Haydar’s Hounds” found happy homes for nearly 100 dogs that had been stuck in the overcrowded shelter.
HAYDAR was a finalist for the AHL’s 2011-12 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, which honored the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia.