Defenceman Craig Ludwig was a solid player in his own end and a punishing hitter during his seventeen NHL seasons. His experience and savvy were an important factors on two Stanley Cup teams.
Born in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Ludwig was chosen 61st overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 1980 after a strong freshman season at the University of North Dakota. He played with the Fighting Sioux for two more years and represented the United States at the 1981 World Junior Championships. In 1982, he was named to the WCHA second all-star team.
The 6'3" defender was a solid addition to the Habs' blueline in 1982-83 and went on to play eight years for the club. His steady work was a factor when Montreal reached the semi-finals in 1984, won the Stanley Cup in 1986, and reached the finals again in 1989. His game was based on playing the body and using a variety of tricks to foil opposition forwards.
The rugged blueliner spent the 1990-91 season with the New York Islanders before he was traded to the Minnesota North Stars. Ludwig remained with the franchise when it relocated to Dallas and developed into a league power in the late 1990s. He was a member of another Stanley Cup celebration when he helped anchor the Stars' blueline in 1998-99 before retiring.