As the Dallas Stars face off against the Colorado Avalanche, they will continue to honor members of their 20th anniversary team. Tonight's spotlight is on Craig Ludwig. Ludwig is American born and began his career in Wisconsin playing competitive high school hockey for Northland Pines High School. He won 2 National championships when playing college hockey for the University of North Dakota from 1979-1982.
The Montreal Canadiens drafted Ludwig in the 3rd round of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. He won a Stanley Cup with the Habs in 1986 before being traded to the New York Islanders in 1990. Shortly after, he was signed by the Minnesota North Stars and subsequently spent the rest of his career with the Dallas Stars before retiring in 1999 after the Stars' first and only Stanley Cup.
Ludwig was a huge part of the Stars' growth and transition in Dallas as they solidified their spot as an NHL elite team and a local sports favorite. He carried the "A" as an alternate captain during some of his latter time with the Stars and played a pivotal role in the Stars' Stanley Cup run.
Stars fans remember Ludwig on the ice as a solid, powerful, and gritty defenseman establishing himself as one of the best shot blockers the NHL has seen. His defensive presence, especially on the penalty kill, helped form the core of the Hitchcock defense-first Stars team of the late 90s. He was also known for his thunderous hip checks (lost art) and physical game all while being a fan favorite here in Dallas.
Having always been an active figure in the local hockey community, Ludwig has increased his role around Dallas as he is a familiar face on every Stars' television broadcast as an analyst. He also has held various coaching positions both locally with youth teams and the Texas Tornado and for the former Dallas Stars' affiliate Utah Grizzlies. His twin sons Tyler and Trevor both play for the CHL Allen Americans.
Below is a video of Craig Ludwig engaging in fisticuffs with pre-Dallas Stars Matt Barnaby. This shows Ludwig's tough, enforcer side; my goal was to find a good 'ole fashion hip check, or a blocked shot highlight reel (unlikely), but this will do.