Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Craig Looks to Immediate and Long-Term Future

Former Wheat Kings' captain Ryan Craig isn't 100 per cent sure what the immediate future holds, but he's pretty sure it won't involving coaching.

At least, not yet.

The man that has a permanent spot on my all-time Wheat Kings' all-star team guested on CKLQ's Monday Sports Talk earlier this week with Tyler Crayston and myself and confirmed he'll be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

"Everything happens with the 29 other teams after July 1st but, right now, I'm Pittsburgh property," said Craig, "There's been some dialogue but there's nothing to commit to and nothing to report."

Craig just finished his 10th season of professional hockey, scoring 11 goals and 30 points in 68 games with Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre while also serving as the team's captain for the second straight season.

Craig turned 30 this past January and admits that sparked him to contemplate where he might fit in once his playing career ends.

Many people that know the Abbotsford product feel he'll make an outstanding coach some day but Craig is hopeful that some day is still a few years away.

"I think you have to play as long as you can and you don't rush something that you can do for a long time and dreamed of doing all your life," said Craig, "At some point it's going to happen and there'll be some decision to be made but, hopefully, that's a few years away."

Craig spends his off-seasons in Brandon and helps out the Wheat Kings in a number of activities while in the Wheat City including assisting with the club's Prospects Camp earlier this month.

We asked Ryan what the best advice he could give to young players.

"First and foremost, I think you need to have fun. If you not enjoying it doing it, you're not going to do it," said Craig, "I think if you enjoy what you do and make sure you have no regrets...work hard, put the time in. It's still find time have a lot of fun and enjoy what I'm doing."

Here's the complete conversation with Ryan Craig from this week's edition of Monday Sports Talk on 880, CKLQ.

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