1971 NHL Entry Draft Pick
Round Overall
2 19
Craig Ramsay
Selected by Buffalo from Peterborough (OHA)
Buffalo Sabres Peterborough Petes
Craig Ramsay

5-foot-10, 170 pounds

Left-hand shot. Hockey News Pre-Draft Ranking: 22

Left Wing

Pre-Draft Statistics

Year Team League GP G A TP PIM
1968-69 Peterborough OHA 54 11 28 39 20
1969-70 Peterborough OHA 54 27 41 68 18
1971-71 Peterborough OHA 58 30 76 106 25

Pre-Draft Notes

Peterborough captain in 1970-71. ... Joined Peterborough for 1967-68 season.
Canadian • Born March 17, 1951 in Weston, Ontario • Hometown: Thistletown, Ontario

A Great Hockey Mind

Craig Ramsay entered pro hockey in 1971 with little fanfare, and he enjoyed a remakably productive, yet low-key career. During the 1970s, he established himself as one of the greatest defensive forwards in NHL history and would have won more than one Selke Trophy if it weren't for Bob Gainey. As a penalty killer an defensive specialist, Ramsay was far ahead of his time. He would go on to play over 1,000 NHL games with the Sabres, including a remarkable streak of 776 consecutive games -- the fourth-longest iron-man streak in NHL history. He also won his lone Selke in his final NHL season at the age of 34. As great and long-lasting as his playing career was, Ramsay would prove to be even more durable as an NHL coach. In the more than four decades that have passed since he was drafted in 1971, he has held a variety of coaching positions with eight different teams. Over these years, he amassed a remarkable combination of hockey knowledge and experience that few in the game can match.

Video from NHL.com

ABOVE: Ramsay on playing outdoors and a family love of hockey.

Tribute VideoDefensive PhilosophyOn Accountability
2014 Interview (Audio)After a Tough LossPress Conference
At a Morning SkateAfter Shootout LossPostgame in Atlanta

Career Vitals

First contract: 1971
Debut: November 27, 1971
(Buffalo at Vancouver)
Final NHL game: April 16, 1985 (playoffs)
(Buffalo at Quebec)
Retired: September 8, 1985
Stanley Cup: 2004
Numbers worn: 25, 10

Career NHL Statistics

Team: Buffalo
Years: 1971-1985. Playoffs: 1973-1985

Regular Season
14 years 1,070 252 420 672 201
Stanley Cup Playoffs
12 years 89 17 31 48 27
Complete statistics available at NHL.com 

NHL Awards and Honors

1975-76:All-Star Game
1984-85:Selke Trophy

Team Awards and Honors

1973-74:Tim Horton Memorial Award (unsung hero), Charley Barton Memorial Silver Stick Award (dedication to game), Most Improved Player Award (co-winner)
1974-75:Frank Eddolls Memorial Trophy (most popular)
1978-79:Wayne Larkin Memorial Trophy (players' MVP), Frank Eddolls Memorial Trophy (most popular)

League/Team Records

NHL Records
Fewest penalty minutes
in a full season:
0 in 1973-74
(shares record)
Buffalo Sabres Records
Most consecutive games:776 (3/27/73 to 2/10/83)
Most games played
by a left wing:
Highest career
plus-minus rating:
Most shorthanded goals:27
Fewest penalty minutes
in a full season:
0 in 1973-74

Life Outside the NHL

Full Name: Craig Edward Ramsay
Nickname: "Rammer"

Other Post-Draft Teams: Cincinnati (AHL)

Family: Father of former Tier II junior player and NHL video coach Travis Ramsay. ... Father of former minor leaguer and NHL scout Chad Ramsay. ... Father of former college goaltender Brendon Ramsay. ... Brother-in-law of former NHL player Doug Gibson.


1,000th Game: October 28, 1984
(Buffalo vs. Calgary)

Career Highlights

Recorded first NHL hat trick in Buffalo's Dec. 5, 1971, game vs. Minnesota, scoring all three goals on Cesare Maniago in a 3-1 win. They were also the first three goals of his NHL career in his fifth NHL game. ... Scored first playoff goal in Buffalo Sabres history on April 4, 1973, at Montreal. The goal, at 3:13 of the second period gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead in the first playoff game in team history. ... Tied NHL record for fewest penalty minutes in a full season when he went through 1973-74 season without a penalty. ...  Scored second hat trick in Buffalo's Feb. 21, 1975, game at Washington. ... Played on Buffalo team that lost to Philadelphia in 1975 Stanley Cup Finals. ... Set Buffalo record (since tied) for shorthanded goals in a playoff game with one in Sabres' April 8, 1976, game vs. St. Louis. His goal was first shorthanded playoff goal in Sabres history. ... Scored his third hat trick in Buffalo's Oct. 20, 1977, game vs. Colorado. ... Runner-up to Bob Gainey in voting for the inaugural Frank J. Selke Award in 1977-78. ... Scored game's lone goal for Buffalo in a 1-0 win vs.Toronto on Oct. 19, 1978. ... Runner-up to Bob Gainey in voting for Selke Award in 1979-80. ... Scored at 16:32 of OT to give Buffalo a 5-4 win in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup quarters at Minnesota on April 20, 1981, preventing sweep by Minnesota. ... Runner-up to Bob Gainey in voting for Selke Award in 1980-81. ... Retired as one of only two players to have appeared in 1,000 games with Buffalo. To this day, only Ramsay and Gilbert Perreault have reached 1,000 games in a Buffalo uniform. ... Retired with NHL record (since broken) for longest consecutive-games streak with one team (776). ... Was first Buffalo Sabres player to win the Selke Trophy in 1984-85. Inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in 1986. ... Inducted into Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. ... Inducted into Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Significant Injuries

Missed part of 1971-72 season with bruised ankle, an injury suffered during Buffalo's Dec. 1, 1971, game at New York. He did not return until Buffalo's Dec. 5, 1971, game vs. Minnesota. ... Missed most of Buffalo's 1973 training camp with back injury that required him to be hospitalized and placed in traction. .... Missed remainder of 1980 playoffs with broken left wrist, an injury suffered during the second period of Game 2 of Buffalo's Stanley Cup semifinal series vs. N.Y. Islanders on May 1, 1980. ... Missed part of 1982-83 season with broken left foot, an injury suffered when he was hit by the puck during Buffalo's Feb. 10, 1983, game at Los Angeles. The injury ended his iron-man streak at 776 games -- 138 games shy of the NHL record at that time. It was also the longest streak of any active NHL player. He did not return until Buffalo's March 12, 1980, game at Vancouver. ... Suffered from ulcers, which required stomach surgery in August 1993, while he was serving as Florida assistant coach. He was unable to join the team until after the 1993-94 season began and then worked primarily in an off-ice role for the remainder of the 1993-94 season, as Tom Webster took over his in-game coaching duties.

Non-Playing Career

Named Buffalo player-assistant coach on Sept. 14, 1984, retired as a player on Sept. 8, 1985, and remained in the assistant coach position until Nov. 6, 1986. ... Named Buffalo interim head coach on Nov. 6, 1986, and remained in that position until Dec. 22, 1986 ... Named Florida associate coach on June 18, 1993, prior to team's inaugural 1993-94 season and remained in that position until June 8, 1995. ... Named Ottawa assistant coach on June 6, 1996, and remained in that position until July 7, 1998. ... Named  Philadelphia assistant coach on July 7, 1998, and remained in that position until Feb. 20, 2000. During this time, he served as Philadelphia's head coach from March 21-22, 1999, while head coach Roger Neilson was suspended by the NHL.  ... Named Philadelphia interim head coach on Feb. 20, 2000, when Neilson was diagnosed with cancer, and remained in position until June 8, 2000. ... Named Philadelphia head coach on June 8, 2000, and remained in that position until Dec. 10, 2000. ... Named Tampa Bay associate coach on Jan. 17, 2001, and remained in that position until May 24, 2007. ... Named
Boston assistant coach on Aug. 1, 2007, and remained in that position until June 24, 2010. ... Named Atlanta head coach on June 24, 2010, was still under contract when team relocated to  Winnipeg, and remained in that position until he lost the job to fellow candidate Claude Noel on June 24, 2011. ... Named Florida assistant coach on July 7, 2011, and remained in that position until Nov. 8, 2013. ... Named Edmonton assistant coach on June 10, 2014, and currently holds this position.

Named Buffalo Director of Professional Evaluation and Development on Dec. 22, 1986, and remained in that position through 1989-90 season. ... Named Buffalo Assistant to the General Manager prior to 1990-91 season and remained in that position until June 18, 1993.

Worked as a Dallas pro scout during 1995-96 season.


Selected by New England Whalers in 1972 WHA Draft, the first WHA Draft, February 1972. Idolized Maple Leafs star and Hall of Famer Dave Keon while growing up in Toronto. Called up to NHL for good after 19 AHL games in 1971 and never played in minors again. Played alongside Don Luce to form one of NHL's best penalty-killing duos of all time.
Played on line with Danny Gare and Don Luce for Buffalo in 1975-76. His streak of 776 consecutive games was second-longest in NHL history at the time it ended. Served as Buffalo's team representative to NHLPA for much of his playing career. Is one of only four Buffalo players to have appeared in over 80 playoff games for the team.
Was naturalized as an American citizen during his playing days in Buffalo. Served as assistant coach in Florida under Roger Neilson, who had been his junior coach. Was the last head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers before team relocated to Winnipeg. Worked as a regular guest columnist for NHL.com during the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Total Selected: 117
Forwards: 63
Defense: 45
Goaltenders: 9
Major Junior: 84
College Players: 19
Canadian: 107
Euro-Canadian: 2
American: 8
European: 0
Reached NHL: 50
Won Stanley Cup: 5
Hall of Fame: 3
All-Star Game: 10
Year-end All-Star: 5
Olympians: 4
Picks Traded: 18


About This SiteHelp Support HDCPrivacy PolicyContact InfoFeedback