|Born||January 3, 1963|
Rochester, New York, U.S.
|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)|
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. Button'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. Button served as the head coach of the Israeli Uner-18 Junior hockey team. Button 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
Button 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, Button worked for hockey legends Bobby Clarke and Bob Gainey. While with the Stars, the team participated in two Stanley Cup Finals, winning in 1999, 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 2003–04 NHL season the Flames made it to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 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. During his tenure as GM of the Calgary Flames, Button put and lost future Hall of Famer, Martin St. Louis, on waivers, traded future Conn Smythe winner J.S. Giguere to the Anaheim Ducks for a second round pick in order to protect Fred Brathwaite in the expansion draft, and traded Marc Savard to the Atlanta Thrashers for Ruslan Zainullin. After his departure from the Flames he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2004 as a scout.
Button is currently TSN's Director of Scouting, drawing on his intimate knowledge of the game and its players to deliver insight on the NHL's top prospects. He is also a key analyst on TSN's That's Hockey.
Prior to joining TSN, Button was an analyst on the NHL Network show NHL on the Fly.
In April 2021, Button appeared on TSN Hockey with a facial injury. In a pickleball mishap, he fell, leading to his sunglasses cutting his face on impact. Button received 6 stitches to his upper cheek and 3 to his eyebrow.
Awards and achievements
- "Welcome to the Jewish Independent Online". www.jewishindependent.ca. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
- "How about all-West Island NHL team?". Montreal Gazette. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
- "Craig Button profile". NHL Network. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- "Total control". CNN/SI. 2003-04-11. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- Zeisberger, Mike (2004-09-21). "Leafs Button up staff". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- "Craig Button". TSN.ca.
- "Craig Button NHL Network Bio". NHL.com.