5 NHL Greats That Won the AHL's Dudley 'Red' Garrett Memorial Award
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5 NHL Greats That Won the AHL's Dudley 'Red' Garrett Memorial Award

The Dudley 'Red' Garrett Memorial Award has been handed out in each American Hockey League season since 1947-48 to the league's rookie of the year. Many of the recipients of the Garrett Award have gone on to careers in the National Hockey League and a few have become superstars.

Each year since the 1947-48 season, the Dudley ‘Red’ Garrett Memorial Award has been handed out to the top rookie in the American Hockey League. It is hoped by young hockey prospects that the AHL is just a stepping stone to greater things. Indeed, on many occasion, National Hockey League stars have been developed in the AHL.

dudley red garrett memorial award american hockey league ahl rookie of the yearWinning the Garrett Award in just the second year of its existence was the great Terry Sawchuk. As a goaltender for the Indianapolis Capitals, Sawchuk played all but one of the team’s 68 regular season games and was responsible for 37 of the Capitals 38 wins. Terry posted a 3.06 goals against average and shutout his opponents on two occasions.

Sawchuk played 971 NHL regular season games with the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. He won the Vezina Trophy four times, had 103 regular season shutouts and was part of four Stanley Cup winning teams in Detroit. Along with Roger Crozier, Terry is one of only two players to win both the Garrett Award and the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year. Sawchuk won his Calder in 1950-51 with Detroit.

Terry Sawchuk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame posthumously in 1971. His number 1 was retired by the Red Wings in 1994.

Don Marshall won the Dudley ‘Red’ Garrett Memorial Award in 1953-54 as a member of the Buffalo Bisons. In 70 games, Marshall scored 39 goals and added 57 assists for 96 points, good for third in the AHL. Buffalo won the F.G. ‘Teddy’ Oke Trophy that season as the AHL’s regular season champions.

Marshall played 1176 regular season NHL games, as well as, 94 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. A good portion of his career was played with the Montreal Canadiens but he also dressed for the New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Roger Crozier posted the lowest goals against average in the American Hockey League during the 1963-64 season, en route to winning the Garrett Award. In 44 games for the Pittsburgh Hornets, Crozier won 30 games, had a 2.34 GAA with four shutouts. He was awarded the Harry ‘Hap’ Holmes Memorial Award for the lowest GAA and the Hornets were awarded the John D. Chick Trophy as the AHL’s West Division regular season champions.

Crozier played in 518 NHL regular season games with the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals. His career GAA was 3.03 and he posted 30 shutouts. He won the Calder Trophy in 1964-65 and, as mentioned above, he is one of two players to win both the Garrett and the Calder.

Rick Middleton was sixth in AHL scoring in 1973-74 with 36 goals and 48 assists for 84 points in 63 games in a Providence Reds uniform. The first round pick of the New York Rangers in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft helped his team get to the Calder Cup finals before losing to the Hershey Bears.

Middleton played 1005 regular season and 114 playoff games in the NHL with the Rangers and the Boston Bruins. He won the Garrett the same year that Don Cherry of the Rochester Americans won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s coach of the year. Cherry must have got a good look at the young Middleton and liked what he saw as he brought him to Boston for the 1976-77 season.

Brett Hull won the Dudley ‘Red’ Garrett Memorial Award in 1986-87 as a member of the AHL’s Moncton Golden Flames. Hull scored 50 goals and assisted on 42 others for 92 points in 67 games. The point total was good enough for third in the league. Hull was a late fourth round draft pick of the Calgary Flames at the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He never really caught on with Calgary but he excelled everywhere else he played.

Hull played 1269 regular season and 202 playoff games in the NHL. His 741 regular season goals rank him third all-time behind only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Besides Calgary, Brett also played for the St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

As for Dudley ‘Red‘ Garrett, he was a young prospect in 1942-43 for the New York Rangers at only 18 years of age. He left to participate in World War II before that season had even ended. Rangers fans eagerly anticipated his return but it wasn’t to be. Garrett was killed in 1944 off the coast of Newfoundland at the age of 20. He played just six games for the Provindence Reds in 1942-43 but the AHL honoured him 1947-48 with this Memorial Trophy honouring the league’s best rookies that would get a chance to continue on and have a professional career in hockey.

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