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Craig Ramsay

Craig Ramsay has to be considered one of the finest defensive forwards of all time.

"Rammer" grew up in Toronto and developed his fine defensive qualities while playing for the Peterborough Petes in the OHA. Craig credited his Peterborough coach Roger Neilson for turning him into such a solid defensive player. Craig scored 232 pts (74 goals plus 158 assists) in 206 OHA games and was selected by Buffalo in the 2nd round (19th overall) in 1971.

Ramsay didn't have a great amount of natural ability. He wasn't very fast and wasn't a great stickhandler or shooter by NHL standards. But he was a smart player who worked hard. He was an intense competitor who did a lot of hard work that went unnoticed by the average fan but to his teammates he was invaluable. Craig showed up night after night shutting down the opposition. You didn't see Ramsay make many mistakes

At one point Ramsay had the 4th longest consecutive game streak in NHL history. He played 776 straight games between 1973 and 1983. Also worth noting is that he only had 201 PIMs in 1070 regular season games, and he was also a +328 during his career. Never in a single season was Ramsay a minus player during his 14-year career, which is quite remarkable given the fact that he was matched against the oppositions star players on most nights.

Often paired on a dynamite line with Don Luce and Danny Gare, Ramsay was noticed throughout the league. For his fine defensive play Craig was awarded with the Selke Trophy in 1985. He also finished as the runner-up for the Selke Trophy on three other occasions. He was also selected to play in the 1976 All-Star game.

Ramsay not only played stellar defense but he chipped in with some goals as well. He cracked the 20-goal plateau eight times and managed to score over 70 points twice. Craig scored 672 points, including 252 goals and 420 assists in 1070 NHL regular season games. In 89 playoff contests he scored 17 goals, 31 assists and 48 points.

Ramsay retired as a 34 year old in 1985, the same year as he won the Selke Trophy. He didn't provide a lot of sizzle or fanfare, but what he did provide will forever rank him among the top players in Buffalo hockey history. This pretty much sums up the story of Craig Ramsay, one of the finest defensive players of all time.

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