Brian Hayward chose to balance his personal development and his hockey career by attending Cornell University for four years. During his final year of college, in 1981-82, he was selected to the ECAC First All-Star Team and the NCAA All-American squad. He graduated from Cornell with a degree in business management in 1982.
Because he was overlooked in the NHL's Entry Draft, Hayward signed as a free agent with the Winnipeg Jets. After two season of bouncing between the AHL and the NHL, he settled in as an NHL regular. In 1984-85, he posted a career-best 33 victories?a club record he still shares with Bob Essensa.
In 1986-87, Hayward was traded to the Montreal Canadiens where he formed an effective partnership with Patrick Roy. For three years running, they shared the William M. Jennings Trophy, which is awarded to the team that allows the fewest goals during the regular season.
In 1990, Hayward was traded to the Minnesota North Stars where he logged one season before being acquired by the San Jose Sharks in the 1991 Dispersal Draft. He picked up the Sharks first-ever victory before being sidelined with a serious back injury. During his convalescence, he worked as a colour analyst for Sharks TV and radio broadcasts. He loved the experience and upon his retirement from hockey in 1993, entered the broadcasting business.