Kevin Haller

The native of Trochu, Alberta, Kevin Haller grew up watching the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames in the Battle of Alberta. One day he dreamed of making the NHL himself.

That path began in 1987-88 when he graduated to the WHL Regina Pats. He would go onto become a dominant player in the Western League and World Junior Hockey Championships, and in 1989 was drafted 14th overall by the Buffalo Sabres.

Haller turned pro in 1990, and apprenticed most of his first two seasons with the AHL's Rochester Americans. On the ice his play progressed steadily and impressively. Off the ice he had a tough time being accepted at first. A devout Christian, Haller made the choice to not be a part of the hockey culture of parties and alcohol. Though his teammates were slow to accept him, he eventually became one of the boys while continuing to stay true to his beliefs.

By the end of the 1990-91 season the young blueliner graduated to the NHL and played the last 21 games with Buffalo. He was one of the Sabres' best players during a first round loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the 1991 playoffs.

He obviously impressed Les Canadiens in that series. After establishing himself as a regular on the Buffalo defence, Haller was traded to the Habs in March, 1992 for veteran rearguard Petr Svoboda. 1992-93 was a season to remember for Haller. He scored a personal high 11 goals and was a member of Montreal's Stanley Cup championship that defeated Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings. Gretzky was full of compliments for the young Haller, saying that he was "one of the toughest defensemen to play against for me personally," and that he respected Haller's clean yet tough style.

The Habs underwent a rebuilding stage in 1994, and traded Haller to the Philadelphia Flyers. During his 2 1/2 years with Philly, Haller helped improve the club's fortunes in the NHL standings. The high point was the 1995 playoffs when the Flyers reached the Eastern Conference final.

In December, 1996, Haller was sent to the Hartford Whalers as part of the package for star defenseman Paul Coffey. He remained with the franchise when it relocated to Carolina in 1997 then played two years with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. After signing as a free agent with the New York Islanders in July, 2000, Haller only played 31 games over the next two seasons before retiring due to career ending abdominal injuries.

In 642 NHL games Kevin Haller scored 41 goals, 96 assists and 137 points.


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