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Manchester Storm On-Line Hockey Card Collection - Storm Stars : Craig Woodcroft

Craig Woodcroft Storm Stars Card

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Craig Woodcroft was one of the players brought to the Storm for the 1996/97 season - the first of the British Superleague - by John Lawless. The Storm struggled that season as it appeared the coach had vastly underestimated the strength of the other teams in the Superleague - indeed some of the players brought in that year never seemed to get going - not so for Craig Woodcroft.

Craig came to the Storm after a year in Germany playing for Wieden in the Bundesliga. previously he had been drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks (he never actually got to play in the NHL though), played for various minor league clubs in North America and been part of the Canadian National squad. This pedigree stood out as he was one of only seven players from that 2nd season to keep their job when John Lawless was replaced as coach by Kurt Kleinendorst.

Although performing well in his second year with the Storm, Craig and new coach Kleinendorst didn’t see eye to eye and he left the Storm at the end of his second season. From the Storm, Craig made the short trip to Germany to play in one of the top European leagues, the DEL - German Elite League, first for Cologne Sharks and later Kassel. His move to Kassel involved the man who had captained the Storm team in Craig’s second year there, Dave Morrison.

One of Craig’s most memorable nights in a Storm shirt must be the home EHL game against Sparta Prague in the 1997/98 season. The Storm had already shocked the hockey world by beating them in Prague 4-3. They went on to astound everyone by beating them at home 7-0 with Craig picking up four goals in the game. Couple this type of contribution on the ice with the hockey schools he ran at Altrincham for local kids and I don't think anyone would argue he deserves to be included in the Storm Stars section.

Let’s hope we see him in a Storm shirt again soon!!

PD - 9/11/2000

Craig Woodcroft Storm Stars Wallpaper

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