10 Very Important Questions For Craig Ludwig
ScoreBoard sat down recently with former Stars defensemen and current Fox Sports SW analyst Craig Ludwig to get his thoughts on the Stars playoff chances, the Super Bowl and life in general.
ScoreBoard: The Stars are currently sitting in the 11th spot in the Western Conference after 54 games. Are you expecting a playoff appearance this year?
Ludwig: It will be tough to end the playoff drought this year. With teams that are 6 points or more out of a spot at Thanksgiving (Stars were 7 points out) only about 10% of them find a way to get in. The good news is some of teams ahead of them are having their own issues; the Wild, Canucks, Coyotes and Kings haven’t been able to pull away from the pack so there is still hope. I think the last spot will need about 96 points to get in so with 28 games left and sitting with 57 points the Stars will need to find away to get about 39 points (which means they will need to go around 20-8 in their final games), tough but still doable.
ScoreBoard: Do you see the Stars making any moves at the trade deadline? If you were wearing the GM hat what would you look to add to this current team?
Ludwig: I see Jim Nill looking at any and all options when it comes to some of the veterans. There are assets within the organization if he decides there’s something out there that can help now, but I don’t see the Stars making a move if it isn’t right long term. I’d like to see the team add some size and there needs to be help with the defensive corp.
The strength of this team is its youth and the team speed, but they need to find that true number one defenseman (there are about 20 other teams looking for that guy too). Jim Nill is a patient guy and will make the moves that make sense for this organization to be competitive year after year.
ScoreBoard: What was your favorite road city (cities) to visit when you were playing? Why?
Ludwig: Chicago and Montreal. If you can’t find what your looking for in those cities it doesn’t exist yet.
ScoreBoard: You did what most athletes can only dream about – retire on top after winning the Stanley Cup in ‘99. Ever have any regrets about when you hung them up?
Ludwig: No, I was able to go out on my own terms although I did get a call halfway thru the next season asking me if I would consider returning and I didn’t think it was the right thing. Then watching the team go to the finals again…. it was tough but no regrets.
ScoreBoard: What would be Craig Ludwig’s “last meal” request?
ScoreBoard: Who’s your pick for the Super Bowl on Sunday and why?
Ludwig: Denver 31-17. Peyton Manning, with everything he has accomplished, needs one more ring and Russell Wilson has plenty of time left in what will be a great career for him.
ScoreBoard: What do you think about having the game outside in a northern city? You’re a Wisconsinite – ever think they’d let Green Bay host it?
Ludwig: I think all franchises should have the opportunity to host the big game. I love the idea of having the game outside in the elements to see how teams will adjust the weather conditions. Green Bay needs to have it every other year to show people what a real tailgate party is.
ScoreBoard: Rumor has it the Stars are bringing back the entire ‘99 Cup team for Modano’s jersey retirement night. Think there might be a few memories rehashed that weekend?
Ludwig: Oh ya and with this group my bet is those memories will be relived.
ScoreBoard: Everyone knows you’re a bike enthusiast. What type of bike do you ride and will you be going to Sturgis this August? How many times have you been in the past (this will be the 74th annual rally).
Ludwig: I just got the Harley-Davidson Street Glide…I’ve been to Sturgis a few times. I keep a pair of jeans and a couple of shirts in my bags and when I go for breakfast in the morning I may end up 500 miles or so away…I like to keep my options open.
ScoreBoard: Can you tell us about the bike rally you hold here in Dallas each year?
Ludwig: We have a charity called Spokes4Hope and we have a few events during the year to raise money to buy bikes for the kids at the children’s advocacy centers around Dallas. We also put on the largest police ride in the state in the fall – with the help of the motorcycle officers it has become a great event for the kids.