Craig Cunningham’s playing career may be over but his life in the game of hockey will continue as the Arizona Coyotes have hired him to serve as a pro scout.
The two-year deal will also see Cunningham work with prospects in the Coyotes organization.
“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes,” said Cunningham in a statement. “I’m very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I’ve received over the past year. I’m looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can’t wait to get started in my new role.”
The 26-year-old Cunningham suffered cardiac arrest on the ice during warm-ups before a Nov. 19 game with the Tucson Roadrunners, the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate. At points it appeared Cunningham wasn’t going to make it, but he eventually pulled through. Part of Cunningham’s lower left leg, was amputated on Christmas Eve out of fear of infection.
After being discharged from the hospital, Cunningham made appearances at Roadrunners and Coyotes games and there was talk that the NHL club was interested in bringing him on board in some role. In April, he took to the ice for the first time since his medical emergency and skated with a prosthetic leg.
It’s been a whirlwind six months for Cunningham, but it’s great to see a story that could have turned into a tragedy end on a happy note.
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