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Craig Hartsburg

Craig Hartsburg played 10 seasons with the Minnesota North Stars before becoming an NHL coach.  (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Craig Hartsburg played 10 seasons with the Minnesota North Stars before becoming an NHL coach. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: Columbus Blue Jackets associate coach. Former NHL defenseman from 1978-1989 for the Minnesota North Stars. Member of 1987 Team Canada squad for Canada Cup.

DOB: June 29, 1959 In: Stratford, Ont.

First Hockey Memory:
"Playing in backyard rinks. Obviously, back in Canada, dad would make a little rink in the backyard. Coming home from school, Saturdays, Sundays, you couldn't get us off."

Hockey Inspirations: "The player growing up - Bobby Orr, was, you know, most kids dreamed of being that. And I think the other person would be my father (Bill). He helped me a lot growing up, as a player, as a person."

Nicknames:
"Oh, the obvious, Hartsy."

Current Car:
"I have a Chevy Trailblazer."

First Job:
"Was I used to work for an advertising company and I cut all the grass and paint the sides of the billboards. Around the city of Sault Saint Marie."

Greatest Sports Moment: "I think there's a few special ones. Obviously, the chance to play in the National Hockey League and the chance to be a coach in the National Hockey League. But also coaching the world junior team in Canada, two gold medals as head coach."

Most Painful Moment: "Having to retire (at age 30). Injuries to my hip. I felt I still had a lot of hockey left but, unfortunately, I couldn't perform."

Favorite Uniforms: "Minnesota North Stars - the only team I ever played for. I played for the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA, but the Minnesota North Stars would be the best jersey. The one without the black was a classic, it was a great jersey. We went to the finals against the Islanders wearing them."

Strangest Game: "One night in the World Hockey Association we were playing in Hartford and the lights went out, right in the middle of the game. The game's going on and suddenly it totally went black. And it was pretty scary actually because the guys out on the ice were trying to figure out where you were and eventually the lights came back on, but it was pitch black."

Closest Hockey Friends:
"You know what, I have lots of them. Fortunate to be in the game long enough to have a lot of friends in the game. I don't really want to say one or two. Just blessed that you had the relationships and the friendships throughout my career, as a player and a coach."

Funniest Hockey Person Encountered:
"Oh geez. Basil McRae is probably right up there, good sense of humor and lots of energy."

Toughest Competitors Encountered:
"Playing with and against Paul Holmgren was, to me, the toughest player that I played against. And I saw some of the things he went through, with injuries, to play the game. He was, by far, the toughest player."

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Most Memorable Goal: "Oh goodness, I don't know. I can't remember. Probably any goal...no, maybe I scored a goal in a Game 7 in Montreal. It wasn't the winning goal, but I scored a goal in Game 7 in Montreal. We won the series so that must be one of them. I don't know if there's any other that really stick out."

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey:
"I like golf. Baseball when the playoffs come around."

Personality Qualities Most Admired:
"Well, you like to associate yourself with people who are loyal and honest and people who have the same values and principles that you do, hard working and being honest and loyal to people."

Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski's second book "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew" is available on www.amazon.com. Malinowski is the creator of two websites: www.thebiofile.com and www.tennis-prose.com

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