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Ryan Craig: 4 Fun Facts

Here are four fun facts to get to know the new Golden Knights' assistant coach better

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Gerard Gallant's coaching staff continued to be finalized when Ryan Craig was hired as an assistant coach on Friday morning.

This came after his longtime right-hand man, Mike Kelly, joined his staff on Thursday and Rocky Thompson became head coach of the AHL's Chicago Wolves on Wednesday.

Of the three, the addition of Craig is different, of course, because the 35-year-old was still playing professionally as recently as this spring.

Here are four fun facts to get to know Craig better.

1. Retired as an active player to become an assistant coach with the Golden Knights.

He most recently served as the captain of the AHL's Cleveland Monsters - Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate - who he helped lead to the Calder Cup in 2015-16.

RELATED: Mike Kelly joins Golden Knights as assistant coach

The team was then known as the Lake Erie Monsters.

 

Watch: Youtube Video

 

2. Has been a captain almost wherever he has played

In addition to captaining the Cleveland Monsters, he also captained the AHL's Springfield Falcons (then Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins affiliate) and Norfolk Admirals (then Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate).

He also served as captain of the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings during his final two junior seasons in 2001-02 and 2002-03. The owner of the Wheat Kings during Craig's captaincy was current Golden Knights assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon.

3. Has worked very closely with McCrimmon

Although Craig cites Abbotsford, British Columbia as his hometown, he spent his teenage years in Brandon, Manitoba, starting when he was drafted by the Brandon Wheat Kings in 1997.

When Craig played for the Wheat Kings, the team was owned by McCrimmon, giving the Golden Knights' new assistant coach and assistant general manager a relationship that is currently more than 20 years old.

4. Has played for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning

Although he spent most of his career shuttling between the NHL and AHL, his most productive NHL campaign was 2005-06, when he scored 15 goals and 13 assists in 48 games with Tampa Bay.

Craig's overall value has almost always been much more for what he brings to a dressing room than the numbers he put on the scoresheet.

A center, he predominantly played a bottom-six role at the NHL level, where he was known for his hustle, ability to kill penalties and overall buy-in to the team concept.

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