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Coyotes sign former player Craig Cunningham as pro scout

Arizona Coyotes left wing Craig Cunningham plays during an NHL preseason hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. The Kings won 3-2 in overtime. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Six months after his playing career ended due to a serious medical issue on the ice as Tucson Roadrunners captain, Craig Cunningham has signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes as a pro scout, the team announced.

“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes,” Cunningham said in a statement. “I’m very grateful to (general manager) John Chayka, (coach) 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.”

In addition to scouting duties, Cunningham will be involved in player development for Arizona prospects.

“We’re thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout,” Chayka said in a release. “Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We’re confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club.”

The 26-year-old Cunningham played 63 career games in the NHL between the Boston Bruins and Coyotes.

Playing for the Roadrunners on Nov. 19, Cunningham collapsed on the ice prior to a game and was hospitalized due to cardiac arrest. Part of one leg was amputated after he fought off complications in a Tucson hospital.

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