Former NA3HL coach Biggs elected to AHL Hall of Fame
October 20, 2017
Former NA3HL head coach Don Biggs was part of the class of four people selected for induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2018.
Honored by the AHL Hall of Fame Selection Committee as the 13th group of enshrinees are Jim Bartlett, Don Biggs, Brian Kilrea and Glenn Merkosky.
“The foundation of the American Hockey League for more than 80 years has been formed by those who excelled in making it what it is today,” said David Andrews, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer. “The AHL Board of Governors is proud to unanimously endorse the Selection Committee’s recommendation for the induction of these four individuals into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2018.”
The Class of 2018 will be honored as part of the festivities at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino, hosted by the Utica Comets. The American Hockey League Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony is scheduled for January 29, 2018, at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Formed in 2006 to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the American Hockey League, the AHL Hall of Fame is housed online at www.ahlhalloffame.com and is accessible to fans worldwide with the click of a mouse as part of the AHL Internet Network.
Biggs may have been small in stature but he certainly played big, becoming one of the dominant American Hockey League scorers of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. A late-round draft pick by the Minnesota North Stars in 1983, Biggs, listed at 5-foot-8, broke into the pro ranks with the Springfield Indians at the end of the 1984-85 season, and in his first full campaign as a professional he tallied 60 points in 75 AHL games split between Springfield and Nova Scotia.
Biggs’ breakthrough season came in 1987-88 after signing as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers. Biggs led the Hershey Bears with 38 goals in the regular season and tied for the team lead with 16 points in the postseason. That Hershey team, considered by many to be among the best in AHL history, won 50 games before going a perfect 12-0 in the playoffs en route to the Calder Cup championship.
That year would prove to be just the beginning for Biggs, the first of six consecutive 30-goal seasons in the AHL. He finished fifth in the league scoring race in both 1988-89 – putting up 103 points in 76 games with the Bears – and 1989-90, with 92 points in 66 contests. Then with the Rochester Americans in 1990-91, Biggs paced the team with 88 points in the regular season and notched a league-high 23 points in the playoffs as the Amerks reached the Calder Cup Finals.
Biggs was acquired by the New York Rangers in 1991, and with Binghamton in 1992-93 he authored the most prolific season the AHL has ever seen. In 78 games, Biggs scored 54 goals and added 84 assists for 138 points, the highest total in the history of the American Hockey League. He was the offensive catalyst for a Rangers team that went 57-13-10 – the best regular-season record ever in the AHL – and he was a runaway winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the league’s most valuable player.
Biggs would play six more years of professional hockey, but the 1992-93 season was his last appearance in the AHL. Despite skating in just 597 games and eight full seasons, Biggs is tied for 24th on the league’s all-time scoring list with 692 career points (273 goals, 419 assists), ranking seventh in points per game among members of the 500-point club.
Following his playing days, Biggs got into coaching and spent three seasons coaching in the NA3HL for the Queen City Steam from 2009-10 to 2011-12. During those three seasons Biggs’ teams had a combined 73-61-7 record and made the playoffs all three seasons.