Former Dallas Star Craig Ludwig Talks About Why Now Was the Right Time to Join the AmericansJune 27, 2012
“All it took was a few dinners.” Craig Ludwig stated about being a part of the new ownership of the Allen Americans organization.
Primary owner, Doug Miller began with a small idea that organically grew, once he casually mentioned it to former Dallas Stars player, Craig Ludwig. Ludwig was already familiar with the Allen American organization, as his twin boys, Trevor and Tyler, played with the Allen Americans during the 2011-2012 season.
“It’s not what we thought it was going to be. We’re going on a couple months now and it’s all happened easily.” Ludwig said with a relaxed smile. “I honestly didn’t expect Mo [Mike Modano] to be that interested. He’s a very busy man, not to mention the face of the Dallas Stars franchise... and rightfully so. Mo was very interested in being a part of the Allen Americans Organization, and he’s absolutely committed.”
Craig Ludwig, along with Mike Modano, Ed Belfour and Richard Matvichuk, are part of the new ownership of the Allen Americans. In addition, Richard Matvichuk will also assume the role of Assistant General Manager and Defense Coach. They join the team of current owner, Doug Miller, and President Matt Canavan.
“We’ve really leaned on Matt Canavan and he, along with everybody else, has been great! To be completely honest, Eddie [Ed Belfour] has really been there the most for me. He’s always willing and ready to help in any way he can,” Ludwig added.
The organization has already begun to make some important decisions for the Allen Americans. Ludwig stated, “I watched Matty [Richard Matvichuk] voluntarily help out with the U18 team [U18 Dallas Stars Elite Hockey Club team] one summer, and I just let him go. I liked what I saw. He knows how to handle the boys. He’s going to be a great ‘buffer’ between the boys and the Head Coach. The boys will really be able to trust him.”
Regarding the decision on Steve Martinson, recently named Head Coach of the Allen Americans in replacing Dwight Mullins, Ludwig stated, “I was looking for someone that had ‘Hitchcock-like characteristics’ as Head Coach. Hitchcock had...maybe a harder edge to him. He really pushed his best players; held them accountable. I’m confident that’s how Mo got to be as good as he is.”
“To have this much NHL experience under our belt, I believe can really be a great thing.” Ludwig added. “We somewhat envision following in the same footsteps as Jim Lites.” Jim Lites was recently named President and CEO of the Dallas Stars, a position he has held on two prior occasions with the Stars, starting in 1993. Lites was instrumental in the development of the American Airlines Center and the Dr Pepper Stars Center facilities, which has ingrained hockey into the hearts of the Dallas youth.
With the new ownership of the Allen Americans organization, there are definitely strong opinions within the group as Ludwig confirmed, and also adds that the group is really working well together. Not to mention, some of them working together again. Ludwig stated the ‘99 Stanley Cup winners have always stayed in touch and the new ownership naturally fell in place once presented with the opportunity. “It’s not just about hockey. There’s a lot more to it. We know this and we enjoy the business side of it,” Ludwig said.
When faced with the question “Why Allen?” Ludwig was quick to answer, “Look at it, Allen is in it’s own little world. It’s great! It has so much here. You got Top Golf... hockey players love to golf, you have great restaurants, great people, great networking.” Ludwig adds, “We’re a fairly large tenant here in the Village of Allen, and with that there’s a responsibility. We need to make sure to keep our fans happy. We also have a responsibility to the new fans.” Ludwig didn’t forget to part with the words, “We also gotta win!”