For the Ludwigs, hockey is a family affair

ALLEN, Texas -- For the first few weeks of their lives, twins Trevor and Tyler Ludwig bore wristbands with 1 and 2 written on them so their parents could tell them apart.

They don’t need the wristbands now, but there is certainly something symbiotic about the twin sons of longtime NHL defenseman Craig Ludwig.

Both Trevor and Tyler, now 27, are defensemen as well.

And they both happen to play for the CHL Allen Americans, a team in which their father has an ownership stake.

Although the two went their separate ways during their college days, with Trevor spending four years at Providence College and Tyler playing four years at Western Michigan, the two grew up playing together while their father was working on an NHL career that included two Stanley Cup championships.

“I think it was good for us to be apart, learn to develop our own game, kind of do our own thing,” said Trevor, a 2004 sixth-round draft pick by the Dallas Stars.

Now the family is once again united by the game, although dad being part owner has made for an interesting dynamic.

“It’s good for us. He wasn’t around as much when we were growing up with his own road trips. Now I guess he’s making up for lost time. We can’t get rid of him,” Trevor joked.

Still, there is always a question of whether hockey discussions are being conducted with dad or the team’s co-owner.

“I think our leash is a little bit shorter,” Trevor acknowledged.

Craig said that he has had to tread carefully in his new role as part-owner of the Americans.

“It is hard,” said the father of three boys -- a third is playing college hockey at Northern Michigan.

While watching the boys play, Craig Ludwig finds himself recalling the things he learned from coaches such as Ken Hitchcock, Pat Burns and Bob Gainey, and he has tried to find ways to impart some of that knowledge, things like paying attention to detail and knowing when to do different things during the course of a game.

“I’ve learned how to talk to my kids,” he said.

In case you were wondering, no, the boys rarely play together.

“They want to split up the talent,” Trevor quipped.

“It might be unfair to the whole league if we played together,” Tyler added.