Craig Smith plays in his 500th NHL Game for Predators

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Craig Smith plays in his 500th NHL Game for Predators

March 7, 2018 1:57 pm


When he wasn’t busy building his hockey skills, a 16-year-old Craig Smith spent one summer helping build something else in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.

With the 2006 school year over, Smith figured, at least initially, that most of his free time would be spent at the local ice rinks.

The thought of a part-time job hadn’t crossed his mind. That all changed, however, after a chat with his high school hockey coach.

“I was 16 at the time,” recalled Smith. “One of my old high school coaches, Chad Stauffacher, and his brother, Luke – their family owned a construction business – and they were putting up a hotel for the summer. They had asked if I had a job for the summer and I didn’t have anything going on, so I figured I could make some money doing that work.”

While it wasn’t the traditional summer job for a young teenager, Smith embraced the tasks he was given.

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One of the greatest things about Kurt and all the people with KO is that they bring in guys like Barry Karn and all these different skating and skill people that come in and help us to develop. They care about us off the ice but they obviously have to care about us on the ice and they bring in people to work with us to help us be better and I think that’s special.

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