Steve Ludzik announced Thursday he is running for Niagara Falls City Council
With friends and family gathered at Eagle Valley Golf Course in Niagara Falls, Steve Ludzik began his remarks talking about his upcoming charity golf tournament and celebrity roast that raises money for the Parkinson’s rehab clinic named after him at Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre.
Ludzik thanked his committee and family for their support, invited a few of them to come up and say a few words and when he announced that Derek Sanderson will be the this year’s former NHLer being roasted many assumed that was the big announcement of the morning. But there was one more thing Ludzik announced. He’s running for Niagara Falls City Council.
In a surprise move Ludzik announced he was going to file his papers later in the day and would be seeking a seat in the Niagara Falls Council chambers in the upcoming October municipal election. The former Niagara Falls Flyer and Chicago Blackhawk player and Tampa Bay Lightning head coach turned philanthropist, Ludzik said he has been asked numerous times if he would consider a life in municipal politics. “People would ask me if I am running and I never knew what to say, but today I can tell you I’m going to,” he said.
Although born in Toronto, Ludzik arrived in Niagara Falls as a 16-year-old to play hockey for what was then the city’s Junior ‘A’ hockey team, the Flyers. Today he makes his home in Niagara with his wife, kids and grandkids. “People in Niagara Falls opened their hearts to me when I arrived here as a young kid. They let me know when they were happy with me and they let me know when they weren’t,” Ludzik said with a laugh referring to his playing days.
Although he’s raised close to a million dollars through his Foundation, Ludzik said he wants to give back to his community in another way. “I’m not a yes man,” he said. “There will be excitement at city hall,” he said with a laugh.
Ludzik was asked about the time commitment and the constant phone calls and emails from constituents municipal politicians receive, usually complaints, once elected. “I love talking to people and listening so I don’t think that will bother me at all.”
Hockey has taken him around the world and he has lived in numerous cities but Ludzik says he chose to live in Niagara Falls. “The best thing I ever did was come to Niagara Falls and stay.”