Button named Flames hockey boss

As expected, the Calgary Flames have named Craig Button the club's new vice-president and general manager.

The announcement was made today at a news conference at the Canadian Airlines Saddledome in Calgary.

Button spent the last 12 seasons in the Stars' organization, and was one of the architects of Dallas' Stanley Cup-winning team.

Button, known for his ability to recognize and develop talent, believes his new team and city has all the earmarkings of success.

"I'm not interested in just being a GM. I'm interested in being a GM in an area and with an organization that I feel can be successful."

While with the Stars, Button had one of the NHL's most generous budgets at his disposal. He isn't concerned about taking over small market team.

"You're not going to hear small market coming out of my mouth," Button said. "There's no excuses. We're going to find ways to confront our problems."

Button, 37, comes with a fine hockey pedigree. His late father, Jack, was an NHL general manager; his mother, Bridget, worked for Punch Imlach and the Toronto Maple Leafs. His brother, Tod, is a scout for the Flames.

It has been widely speculated that Button will hire former Philadelphia Flyers coach Roger Neilson to be the Flames' bench boss.

At the conference, Button said that are no front-runners for Calgary's vacant coaching position. He said that he would like find someone "as soon as possible," but says he won't rush into any decision.

"We'll be looking for a person that can embody the principles of good team play. I do not want to have the wrong coach," Button said.

The Flames are hoping the addition of Button will re-invigorate hockey interest in Calgary.

"By 8:30 this morning I had 27 E-mails," president Ron Bremner. "Seventeen of which were people who said they were coming down to buy tickets."

Ownership has said the club will be put up for sale if the season-ticket base doesn't reach 14,000 by June 30. Just over 11,000 season-tickets have been sold so far.