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AHL Legend Mike Nykoluk Passes Away at Age 87

AHL Hall of Famer and former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Nykoluk has passed away at the age of 87.

One of the best players in American Hockey League history has died. 

The AHL announced that former center Mike Nykoluk passed away on Sunday night at the age of 87. 

Nykoluk, who played 16 seasons in the AHL throughout his iconic career, is among the most illustrious point-getters in the league's history, ranking third on the AHL's all-time leader board for assists with 686, sixth in points with 881, and fifth in games played with 1,069. 

In 2007, Nykoluk was a member of the second-ever class of inductees into the AHL Hall of Fame. 

While he began his career with the Rochester Americans, Nykoluk spent the majority of his time with the Hershey Bears, winning two Calder Cups in 1959 and 1969, respectively, along with a Les Cunningham Award in 1966 as the AHL's most valuable player throughout his 14 years with the franchise. 

Over 50 years after his retirement, Nykoluk still remains the franchise leader in goals, assists, and games played, and has had his number eight retired by the team. 

Nykoluk also put together a notable coaching career following his playing days, winning two Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975 as an assistant with Philadelphia before eventually being hired as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1980. 

Nykoluk's tenure behind the Maple Leafs' bench wasn't quite as successful, however, ending after four seasons with an 89-144-47 record. 

The hockey world mourns the passing of one of its most celebrated alumni.



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