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Craig Simpson

Photo of Craig Simpson

A true student-athlete, Craig Simpson was just 16 years old when he began his college career at the University of Michigan. After a highly successful 2 year college career, both seasons being an underage player, Simpson was drafted 2nd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1985 NHL Draft. Simpson would make the jump to the NHL as an 18 year old and play 2 full seasons with the Penguins. Early in Simpson’s third NHL season, Simpson was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in a deal that saw future Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey go the other way. Placed on a line with Glenn Anderson and Mark Messier, and receiving tutelage from Wayne Gretzky, Simpson exploded. He would score 56 goals and 92 points in the 1987/88 season between the Penguins and the Oilers. Simpson also added 19 points in 19 playoff games to help the Oilers win the 1988 Stanley Cup. Simpson would go on to have several more productive years in Edmonton, and won his second Stanley Cup with the Oilers in 1990. Simpson would also play 2 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres before chronic back problems forced him to retire at the age of 28 in 1996. In retirement, Simpson has emerged as a prominent broadcaster on Hockey Night in Canada and spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Oilers from the 2003/04 season through the 2006/07 season.