Dallas Stars fans remembered Craig Ludwig as someone who would get into your face and block shots when needed. He was also remembered as one of the top defensive players who helped the Stars win their first ever Stanley Cup. Now he is part of the minority ownership of the Allen Americans in the CHL, along with Richard Matvichuk, Ed Belfour and Mike Modano, who were also part of the 1999 Cup team.
blackoutdallas.com recently caught up with Craig Ludwig after the Americans’ 3-2 victory over the Wichita Thunder to talk about what kind of advice he is giving to his sons to what he does off the ice.
BlackoutDallas: You have two sons, Tyler and Trevor, playing for the Allen Americans and another son, CJ, who is playing for Northern Michigan University. Are you giving them any advice?
Craig Ludwig: Yeah you know I try to lean on Matti (Richard Matvichuk) for that. They quit listening to me years ago so I just try to be positive with them and let Matti kind of do the negative side with them. We are trying to help everybody not just those two.
BD: How did it feel to be drafted by the Canadiens in 1980?
CL: I was at the time probably shocked number one but I really didn’t believe I was ever going to play for them at the time so I was excited. It went from shocked to disbelief to probably too excited and scared once I got there.
BD: What do you remember about your first NHL game?
CL: I remember being scared. I was out there for the opening face-off, got the puck and moved it to my partner. I believe it was against the Boston Bruins.
BD: What activities do you enjoy doing the most to help you relax when you are not at the rink?
CL: Anytime I can get away from the game as soon as it was over. Summer stuff I do like getting on the lake and stuff like that so in Montreal it was a little different and little cold.
BD: How is it different from playing hockey to being a coach?
CL: I think the biggest thing is about the hockey side of things is that you worry about yourself when you are a player. When you are a coach, you try to worry about 23 different guys.
BD: What advice would give to someone who is learning to play hockey like at a young age?
CL: Pay attention to your coaches. I think the biggest thing is you got to pay attention to what they are trying to teach you and you got to remember it, think it and you got to practice those things over and over again. The advice that you are generally getting is advice to trying to help you improve.
BD: You won the cup in 1999. Was that one of your favorite moments?
CL: It was definitely one of my favorite moments. The first one I won was in 1986 in Montreal so it was a long time in between.
BD: What did you do with the cup?
CL: I took the cup to my hometown so I took it to Rhinelander, Wisconsin for the fourth of July with the parade and all that kind of stuff. A bunch of local hockey teams along with families and friends to spend time with it.
BD: Are you a big Green Bay Packers Fan?
CL: Oh yeah. I am loyal. I am loyal to Wisconsin and how they are doing all the time.
BD: What’s your favorite hobby outside of hockey besides Golf?
CL: Riding my motorcycle and I got a bunch of guys who got Harleys so we like riding the bikes.