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Ludwig still has the pads

Craig Ludwig was known as a shot-blocker and for his unusually wide shin pads. But the 17-year NHL veteran says the wide shin pads weren't by design. The extra width came as he repaired the pads, which were issued to him when he was a freshman at...

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Craig Ludwig was known as a shot-blocker and for his unusually wide shin pads.

But the 17-year NHL veteran says the wide shin pads weren't by design. The extra width came as he repaired the pads, which were issued to him when he was a freshman at UND in the late 1970s.

He wore the same pads throughout his three-year UND career and his 17-year NHL career as a defenseman.

"I never changed anything," said Ludwig, who's in town coaching the Dallas Stars team in the Little Caesars North American Showcase midget hockey tournament. "The only thing I did was when they broke we would add plastic to them.

"That's what made them so wide. I didn't make them wide. I didn't want them like that."

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Some said his shin pads looked like they belonged to a goaltender or that he put phone books inside of them.

But all he did was repair them, he says.

And where are the shin pads today?

"They're at my house," he said. "They ain't going anywhere."

The shin pads weren't the only equipment Ludwig took with him from UND. He also wore the same shoulder pads throughout his UND and NHL careers.

The Hockey Hall of Fame came calling for the shin pads after Ludwig retired from the game in 1999. He played on Stanley Cup-winning teams with Montreal (1986) and Dallas (1999).

"I said, 'I'll make you a deal. You take me, you can take the pads,' " Ludwig said. "They never called me back."

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