GTHL Awards season is here. To celebrate, we will be profiling each of the 12 award winners individually leading up to the ceremony on June 16.
Passion, pride, hard work – for many, Tyler Cragg was an individual who personified the game of hockey. Starting with the Jr. Canadiens in 2000, Cragg wore many hats in his time with Club, acting as President, General Manager, and Coach throughout his tenure.
“He had one of the most brilliant hockey minds of anyone I’ve ever met,” said Rick Crumpton, who coached current NHL superstars like Alex Pietrangelo alongside Cragg. “When I joined the coaching staff all he said to me was ‘Don’t mess Pietrangelo up.'”
While Cragg may have coached plenty of household hockey names, he was never one to shy away from taking pride in all of his players, regardless of their skill level.
“Yes, there were many NHL players he coached,” said GTHL Manager of Hockey Operations, Peter Kourtis. “But you have guys who didn’t go to the show come to you and say Tyler was the best coach I ever had.”
Outside of the rink, Cragg was a known for his sense of humour, never shying away from joking around.
“When you think or speak about Tyler the same thing always comes up,” said Jr. Canadiens General Manager, John Winstanley. “He was a great hockey guy and an even better person.”
Tragically, in April 2013, Cragg suffered a seizure, which was later diagnosed as Glioblastoma Multiforme, a form of brain cancer. After a two-year battle with the disease, Cragg passed away on December 7, 2015.
Cragg will be honoured with the George Chamandy Memorial Trophy – the highest award presented to any individual by the GTHL. The Award recognizes an individual’s long-standing commitment to hockey in the Greater Toronto Area.