Hayward didn't play junior hockey, instead he played with Cornell University in the NCAA. Like most college players, he went undrafted. He signed as a free agent with the Winnipeg Jets in the summer of 1982. Brian was called up in January and pushed incumbent back-up Ed Staniowski to the minors. It took Hayward a bit longer to gain the #1 spot in the crease.
As the Jets broke training camp in 1984, they traded away incumbent #1, Doug Soeteart to the Montreal Canadiens. The Jets started the season with Hayward, and fellow 24 year old, Marc Behrend. They split games early on, as Behrend was hot, but as he cooled, Hayward took over. Hayward finished second in the league with 33 wins and was 5th in Vezina voting. He ended the season on a personal 12 game unbeaten streak, going 10-0-2, .902, and 2.86. It was good enough to get a headshot in the 1985-86 set. Although, I feel the front of the card needed an upgrade.
|1985-86 OPC Brian Hayward|
He followed that up with a dud. In the 1985-86 season, Hayward went 13-28-5, .843, and 4.80. In four seasons, Hayward's GAA went from 3.71 to 4.87 to 3.83 to 4.80. Sensing inconsistency, the Jets traded Hayward to the Montreal Canadiens for another struggling goalie, Steve Penney. OPC caught the trade in time to have Hayward in his Canadiens uniform and matching headband for the 86-87 set.
Hayward joined rookie sensation, Patrick Roy, in Montreal and the duo became the elite goalie pairing of the late 1980s. They played a time share but both wanted to be number one. The competition between them helped the duo capture three consecutive Jennings trophies. In his first season with the Canadiens, Hayward led the NHL with a 2.82 GAA. In his first three seasons with the Canadiens, he finished in the top five for GAA each season. Hayward was even the Canadiens goalie in the 1987 play-offs after Roy got blown out in Quebec. OPC had Hayward in warm-up gear for most of his OPC cards with the Canadiens, so I made a reskin for his 87-88 OPC.
|1987-88 OPC Brian Haywrd|
Although the pairing worked great for the Canadiens, it was not always amical. Hayward and Roy both wanted to be the starter. They were also roommates. There are stories of Hayward staying up late at night watching TV on the evenings before Roy was scheduled to start, but early to bed on the nights he was scheduled. Implying Hayward was not above dubious tactics to get the edge on Roy. As the season progressed, Roy continued to improve and became the main starter in the play-offs. Roy won the Vezina in 1989 and during the 1990 season approached coach Pat Burns and made a case to be the clear #1 starter. Roy also petitioned and got himself a new roommate.
Up until Feb 1st, Roy had started 29 games compared to Hayward's 25. Roy was 16-11-2, .907 and 2.64. Hayward was 10-10-4, .883, and 3.20. For the rest of the season, Roy started 23 games, and Hayward 4. Roy's play improved once was the clear #1, enough so he won his second consecutive Vezina trophy. It was also the only season that the Hayward-Roy combo did not win the Jennings trophy.
The time share was over and Hayward knew we he was no longer goalie 1B for the Canadiens. Hayward. Roy started the 1990-91 season firmly entrenched as the teams #1 goalie. Hayward responded by going home and demanded a trade. He claimed the Canadiens promised him a shot at playing half the games and that team had reneged. Brian firmly believed he was #1 goalie quality and wanted the chance to show it. It took a month into the season before Hayward was traded to the Minnesota North Stars for Jayson More. Unfortunately for Hayward, North Star incumbent Jon Casey was not going to give up the crease so easily. Hayward was once again on the wrong side of a 1A-1B platoon. Even worse, Casey took over in the play-offs and led the team to a surprising Stanley Cup finals run.
A bit of hockey oddity, the Minnesota North Stars became two teams after the 1991-92 season, the Minnesota North Stars and the San Jose Sharks. Although only a handful of NHLers would be dispersed to San Jose. Brian Hayward was left unprotected by the North Stars and he was selected by the Sharks in the dispersal draft. Later that day, the defending Campbell Conference champs North Stars, and the Sharks participated in an expansion draft. In that draft, the Sharks selected Jayson More third overall. An odd twist to the Hayward-More trade tree.
1992-93 Fleer Ultra Brian Hayward
Hayward had a single card as a Jet. He procured a rookie card in the 1985-86 OPC set. Let's jump a few years ahead and give Hayward a rookie card in the 1983-84 OPC set.
|1983-84 OPC #398 Brian Hayward (RC)|
|1983-84 OPC #398 Brian Hayward (RC)|