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Darren Haydar did it all in AHL but can't crack Thrashers' lineup @NHL

Darren Haydar, who won the AHL scoring title and earned MVP honours last season, has been sent back to the Chicago Wolves by the Atlanta Thrashers.

The 27-year-old right-winger from Milton, Ont., scored 41 goals and assisted on 81 for 122 points in 73 games. He got at least one point in 39 consecutive games, tying Wayne Gretzky's 1985-86 run with Edmonton as the fourth-longest in pro hockey history. He was recalled for four NHL games over the course of his season and had hoped to stick this time.

Defenceman Joel Kwiatkowski, who has appeared in 264 NHL games with Ottawa, Washington, Florida and Pittsburgh, also was demoted Thursday.

The Thrashers also sent American forwards Jordan LaVallee and Colin Stuart and Slovakian defenceman Boris Valabik back to Chicago, and rookie Czech goalie Ondrej Pavelec, a QMJHL all-star with Cape Breton the last two years, also joins the Wolves.

Meanwhile, Colton Gillies is headed back to the Saskatoon Blades after being reassigned by the NHL's Minnesota Wild.

The six-foot-four forward was Minnesota's first choice, 16th overall, in the entry draft last June. The native of White Rock, B.C., had 13 goals, 17 assists and 148 penalty minutes in 65 WHL games last season.

The Wild also sent centre Ondrej Fiala back to the Everett Silvertips. The six-foot-two Czech had 12 goals, 21 assists and 26 penalty minutes in 39 WHL games last season.

Goaltender Nolan Schaefer and defenceman Andre Lakos were assigned to the AHL's Houston Aeros.

Schaefer, a 27-year-old netminder from Yellow Grass, Sask., was signed as a free agent last July after spending last season with AHL teams in the San Jose and Pittsburgh organizations.

Lakos, 28, a six-foot-six blue-liner, played in his native Austria last season after stints with numerous North American teams. He played junior hockey in Barrie, Ont., in 1998-99. He was a free agent when he signed with the Wild in June.


-Edmonton assigned goaltender Devan Dubnyk and forwards Jonas Almtorp, Tim Sestito and Ben Simon to the AHL's Springfield Falcons, reducing its roster to 31.

Dubnuk, a six-foot-six netminder from Regina, and Sestito, an American left-winger, were with the ECHL's Stockton Thunder most of last season. Simon, an American left-winger, has played in the AHL at Syracuse, N.Y., and Grand Rapids, Mich., since appearing in 81 NHL games with Atlanta and Columbus.

- Chicago claimed defenceman Karel Pilar off waivers from Atlanta. Pilar, 29, played 10 games for the AHL's Toronto Marlies last season and had two goals and five assists. He appeared in 90 NHL games with the Maple Leafs.

- St. Louis got down to 28 by sending forwards Yan Stastny, Trent Whitfield and Chris Porter along with defenceman Roman Polak to the AHL's Peoria Rivermen.

Stastny, acquired from Boston for a fifth-round draft pick last January, appeared in 21 NHL games last year without scoring for the Bruins. He's the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Stastny.

Whitfield, a 30-year-old centre from Estevan, Sask., has played 174 NHL games with Washington, New York Rangers and St. Louis.

Porter, from Toronto, played college hockey at North Dakota the last four years.

Polak, a Czech, appeared in 19 Blues games with no points last season.

-Dallas sent left-winger John Lammers back to the AHL's Iowa Stars. The 2004 draft pick from Bowmanville, Ont., scored six goals in 52 games with Iowa last season.

-Florida assigned centre Stefan Meyer and defenceman Martin Lujek to the AHL's Rochester Americans.

Meyer, from Medicine Hat, Alta., scored 13 goals for the Amerks last season.

Lojek, a Czech who played junior in Brampton, Ont., appeared in three NHL games while with Rochester scored six goals.

-Pittsburgh recalled forward Jeff Taffe from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton AHL affiliate and assigned centre Tim Brent down.

Taffe, signed as a free agent in July, got into 17 NHL games with Phoenix last season and scored four goals. The 27-year-old American was in 100 big-league games over the last five years and has 15 goals in all.

Brent, a fourth-year pro from Cambridge, Ont., scored one goal while getting into 15 games with Anaheim last season. He also scored 16 goals in 48 AHL games with the Ducks affiliate in Portland, Me.

-Phoenix got down to 25 by sending right-winger Enver Lisin to the AHL's San Antonio Rampage. The 21-year-old Russian played 17 NHL games last season and had one goal. He was the 50th player drafted in 2004.

-Philadelphia assigned 18 players to the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms, reducing its roster to 32: forwards Josh Beaulieu, Frederik Cabana, Triston Grant, Kyle Greentree, David Laliberte, Jon Matsumoto, Gino Pisellini, Darren Reid and Denis Tolpeko; defencemen Oskars Bartulis, Martin Grenier, Lars Jonsson, Ryan Parent and Jussi Timonen and goaltenders Rejean Beauchemin, Jeremy Duchesne, Martin Houle and Scott Munroe.

-Carolina announced the resignation of Jason Karmanos, assistant GM since 1998, citing personal reasons.

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