Mark Van Guilder‘s incredible run with the Milwaukee Admirals is officially over. The Admirals all-time leader in games played in the AHL era of the team has signed for Italian hockey club Ritten Sport who play in Italy’s top tier Serie A.
Van Guilder was an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame who joined the Admirals in 2008-09. He spent the majority of that season as a member of the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL before splitting the deck between Milwaukee and Cincinnati the following campaign. In 2010 he started the first of five full playing seasons for the Admirals. In total, he played 383 games with Milwaukee and scored 138 points (61 goals, 77 assists) over the course of seven seasons. The only other player in the Admirals AHL era to play seven seasons with the team is the man Van Guilder narrowly eclipsed to become the all-time games played leader last season, Scott Ford (378 games).
I feel the lasting memory of Van Guilder’s tenure with the Admirals was seeing him finally make his NHL debut in the 2013-14 season. To have watched someone battle from being undrafted, to the ECHL, to the AHL for so long, and finally make the NHL was phenomenal. It may have only been one game but for so many players sometimes all you could ever want is that one and only game to say you played a game in the NHL. It wasn’t just a reward for his service. He earned it.
What is your favorite Mark Van Guilder moment? Are the Admirals in need of veteran help for this coming season?