NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (October 20)- Following 10 professional years on the ice, including three with Texas (2007-2010), the Brahmas announced the retirement of captain and defenseman Craig Minard Wednesday afternoon.
In three seasons with the Brahmas, Minard became the backbone of the blueline and heart of the team, accumulating 70 points (7 G, 63 A) in 159 regular season games. The Orangeville, ONT native became a catalyst on special teams for the Brahmas as he was asked to shut down opponent’s top lines. Minard’s defensive soundness helped aid the Brahmas to a 12-4 record in the 2009 playoffs and the franchise’s first Championship title.
Minard will be remembered for his strong leadership skills and anchoring the defensive core in his time with Texas. The 2009 CHL Champ finished with a team leading +25 while playing in all 64 regular season games during the Brahmas championship run. Minard registered 35 points (5 G, 30 A) and appeared in all 16 postseason games.
"Craig is the epitome of a true professional, both on and off the ice. His character and competitive nature gave him a great reputation around the league, we are sad to see him go. We wish Minzy and his family the best in his future endeavors, we know he will do great," said Brahmas Head Coach and former teammate of Minard, Dan Wildfong.
Much of Minard’s career was spent with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (2001-2006) where he put up 118 points (19 G, 99 A) in 253 games. His best offensive season came with the ‘Bugs in 2005-06 where he had 37 points (4 G, 33 A). Playing in Bossier, Minard and the Mudbugs found themselves losing twice in the CHL Finals (2003-04 and 2005-06).
Known as 'Minzy' by teammates and fans, Minard's career has moved him around different leagues other than the CHL, including the British National League (BNL) and East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Prior to going pro, the veteran defenseman spent time with the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League (RMJHL) and Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He also played five seasons with the University of New Brunswick in the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU).
CRAIG MINARD’S STATS
"We appreciate all of Craig's efforts he has graced us with the past three years and wish him all the best. The Brahmas are fortunate to have Minard part of our franchise," said Brahmas General Manager Mike Barack.
NYTEX President Frank Trazzera appreciates all that Minard brought to Brahma Nation.
"We are all so proud to have Craig as a family leader during the past three years. He will be missed on the ice, as well as off. The dedication that he has put in as a player helped define a new standard and expectation that is now Brahmas hockey. On behalf of our entire organization, we would like to wish Craig, Tanya and the boys the very best of luck and success as they begin their next great chapter in life. We look forward to seeing them regularly in the house that they helped to become Brahma-land," said Trazzera.
Minard and his family will continue to live in the Metroplex as he takes on a non-hockey related position.