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Craig retires to join Vegas coaching staff

Ryan Craig, whose 14-year pro playing career included captaining the Lake Erie Monsters to the 2016 Calder Cup championship, has retired to accept a position as an assistant coach with the NHL’s expansion Vegas Golden Knights.

Craig spent nine of his 14 seasons as an AHL team captain, serving that role in Springfield, Norfolk, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Cleveland. The 35-year-old native of Abbotsford, B.C., appeared in 711 career AHL games and totaled 172 goals and 188 assists for 360 points, including 22 points in 71 contests with the Monsters in 2016-17.

Craig was a two-time winner of his team’s IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award, and was selected to captain the Western Conference team at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic in Lehigh Valley.

A 2002 draft pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Craig appeared in 198 National Hockey League contests with Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Columbus.