Craig Smith plays in his 500th NHL Game for Predators


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.