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January 02, 2016

Craig Laughlin

Craig Laughlin was a hard working, honest and admirable grinder for 9 NHL seasons. He was a tireless hustler, spiritedlly fighting and digging for the loose puck in the corners and along the boards. A proud defensive player, Craig earned everything he got out of hockey the old fashioned way - through simple hard work.

He also exhibited a contagious attitude that earned him great respect among his teammates. He wasn't without skill either. He was a good skater, particularly strong in terms of balance if not speed. He had a decent touch with the puck, able to make nice plays with the pucks he retrieved from the corner. He didn't have a great shot, scoring most of his goals from in close. However he was able to find the twine 136 times in his 549 game career. He also added 205 assists for 341 points, while collecting just 364 PIM. He added another 6 goals and 6 assists in 33 playoff contests.

After earning a degree in business at Clarkson University, Craig played the next season and a half in the minors with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs. Craig broke into the NHL in 1981-82 with the Montreal Canadiens, but was included in a block buster trade after just 36 games as a Hab. He, Doug Jarvis, Rod Langway and Brian Engblom were shipped to Washington in exchange for Ryan Walter and Rick Green.

Craig enjoyed his finest years as a Capital. He played 5 1/2 seasons there, and was a consist threat for 20 goal and 50 point seasons. Once, in 1985-86, Laughlin elevated his offensive contribution to career highs with 30 goals, 45 assists and 75 points.

Late in the 1987-88 Craig was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for defenseman Grant Ledyard. Craig never wanted to leave Washington, but his status as an unrestricted free agent at season's end forced the trade. As it turned out, it was a smart move for Washington, as Laughlin did not resign with the Caps. Instead Craig realized a child hood dream by signing with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.

After one season in Toronto (scoring 10 goals and 13 assists), Laughlin headed across the Atlantic to participate with Landshut of the German League before hanging up the blades for good.

Craig kept very busy in his post-player days. He became a long time color analyst for Washington Capital broadcasts. He also served as the general manager of the ECHL's Richmond Renegades

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