January 3, 1963 |
Rochester, New York
|Occupation||Sportscaster and analyst|
|Known for||Sportscaster on The NHL on TSN, former National Hockey League Executive (General Manager of the Calgary Flames, 2000–2003)|
|Relatives||Jack Button (father)|
Early life and hockey family
Born in Rochester, New York, Button entered the world of hockey at birth. His father, Jack Button, was an executive with the Rochester Americans, and his mother, Bridget, was the secretary to long-time Toronto Maple Leafs' General Manager and Head Coach and Hockey Hall of Fame member, George "Punch" Imlach. Jack held executive positions at the American Hockey League before embarking on an extensive career as an NHL executive. Jack was named Assistant General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1967 and became the franchise's second General Manager during the 1973–74 and 1974–75 seasons. He was the Assistant General Manager of the Washington Capitals from 1979 until his death in 1996. Craig's brother Tod was an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals and is currently the Director of Scouting with the Calgary Flames. The Button family moved to Montreal in 1975 when Jack was hired by NHL President Clarence Campbell to institute and manage the NHL Central Scouting Bureau. Craig graduated from Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds, Quebec in 1980 and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Concordia University, Montreal, in 1987.
Early career with Minnesota North Stars and Dallas Stars
Craig began his NHL management career in 1988 with the Minnesota North Stars. He was the Director of Scouting for Dallas Stars 1992–98, Director of Player Personnel for Dallas Stars 1998–2000. During this time, Craig worked for hockey legends, Bob Clarke and Bob Gainey. While with the Stars, the teams participated in three Stanley Cup Finals and were recipients of the Presidents Trophy on two occasions. The list of players drafted during his tenure include Derian Hatcher, Jere Lehtinen, Jamie Langenbrunner, Marty Turco, Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow.
He replaced Al Coates as the Vice President and General Manager of the Calgary Flames in 2000. Button held that position until the conclusion of the 2002–03 NHL season, when his contract was not renewed and was replaced with Darryl Sutter who Button had hired as Head Coach in December 2002. During the 2003-2004 NHL season the Flames made it to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Craig is credited with building this team by acquiring many of the players instrumental in the Flames success, including Craig Conroy, Martin Gelinas and Jordan Leopold. He was a guiding force for the Flames' primary development team Saint John Flames of the American Hockey League when they captured the Calder Cup championship in 2001. After his departure from the Flames he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2004 as a scout.
A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, Button is currently an analyst on NHL on the Fly on the NHL Network. He also writes hockey articles for ESPN and NHL.com and frequently reports as an NHL "insider" on TSN.
Awards and achievements
|General Manager of the Calgary Flames