About Steve Ludzik
I’ve just finished a book entitled Been There Done That. Some people love the title some really dislike it, just like me I guess.
Veteran sports writer of the Tampa Tribune Ira Kaufman said it’s the best “I’ve never met a man in my 30 years of sports writing that so many persons have an opinion of.” Rick Dudley, my General Manager in 2 NHL stops said it best, ”Ludzy is void of any political agenda”…to me that’s a compliment.
I believe my book Been There Done That is the most honest book done on hockey…..that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I was born and raised in Etobicoke, a large suburb of Toronto. My father was a first generation immigrant from Poland who was a bush pilot at 18 years of age, and flew in the Arctic Circle. My mom was a nurse. A magazine article penned by Morley Kells [who coached me at age 10 in lacrosse], wrote ”he was the son of a demanding father and a compassionate mother”. That’s a good and fair analogy.
My hockey career almost came to a sudden halt when I was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s Disease at 17. I was shunned by everyone in the OHL draft, except one team – the Niagara Falls Flyers. My trials and tribulations are documented for all to read in Been There Done That. I was in the hockey waste land and at a low point in my life, but I battled back and forged a great junior career in my now adopted home of Niagara Falls. In 2008 I was honoured, along with Derek Sanderson, as the greatest Niagara Falls Flyers of all time.
My NHL career was spent mostly with the Chicago Blackhawks, and as I’ve said before, there have been better Blackhawks but none prouder. Once again I battled a life threatening ailment when I was diagnosed with a severe liver ailment and without any fan fare or public knowledge had 2 plastic stints placed in my bile ducks in 1990.
I retired in 1992 and quickly entered the coaching ranks and worked my way up from the bottom. From Muskegon, in the UHL to the IHL with the Detroit Vipers, I was able to reach the mountain top in the coaching ranks and was appointed head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL.
Funny, I’ve been in the game as a player and a coach but most people know me as a broadcaster and TV analyst on THE SCORE. I call it the way I see it, and let the chips fall where they may. They call me “the coach” and I tell it like it is.
On a personal note, I married my high school sweetheart, Mary Ann, and have been married for 25 years. We have 2 sons, Stephen 23 and Ryan 21…both were drafted to the OHL. Ryan, a goalie, played for the Erie Otters and Stephen, drafted by the Windsor Spitfires, is a student in Brock University.
My hobbies are boxing, collecting old classic boxing matches, oil painting, and jogging with my dog Derby an American bulldog.