Craig Hartsburg

Craig William Hartsburg ( born June 29, 1959 in Stratford, Ontario ) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey defender. Most recently, he was an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League.

Career as a player

Craig Hartsburg began his career in 1974 at the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters of the regional junior league SOJHL, before 1975 the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds joined the class OHA Junior League. After a solid first season Hartsburg was named team captain of the greyhounds and developed significantly on the ice on. In a disappointing athletic team he was with 29 goals and 64 assists in 61 league games best scorer of the team and was awarded the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the best defender of the OHA.

In the season 1977/78 the 16 -year-old Wayne Gretzky came to the team, but the result of the season was only marginally improved. In addition, Hartsburg suffered at the beginning of the season a knee injury, so he could deny only 36 games.

As to the summer of 1978, no team in the NHL had the rights to Hartsburg secured, he signed a contract with the Birmingham Bulls of the World Hockey Association rival professional league. The team that was staffed with very young players like Michel Goulet and just hard Pittsburgh, finished at the end of the 1978/79 season the last place in the league. However, Hartsburg personally had a good first professional season with nine goals and 40 templates.

After the WHA was disbanded in the summer of 1979, the Minnesota North Stars Craig Hartsburg selected in the NHL Entry Draft in 1979 in the first round at position six from. He managed directly the breakthrough in the NHL and was associated with 44 scorer points in 79 games the top scoring defender of the team. The following season he continued his good performance and was especially in the playoffs an important part of the team, when they reached the Stanley Cup final against the New York Islanders.

Not only sporty but also in the hierarchy of the North Stars, he went on then and was named one of the alternate captains for the 1981/82 season in which he had his best year with 17 goals and 60 assists in 76 league games. In the fall of 1982, he finally received the "C" as captain of the team.

In the season 1982/83 he held his services remain at a high level and the North Stars qualified for the playoffs again, where Hartsburg alongside Brad Maxwell was the best scorer. However, they failed just like last year relatively early. At the beginning of the season 1983/84 to Hartsburg have to undergo an operation because of osteophytes and thus missed several games. After he had come back into the game, he completed 26 games, but retired in January 1984 to a torn ligament and fell for the rest of the season.

Also in the 1984/85 season he was not spared from injury and was limited due to fracture in the thigh at 32 NHL bets. The following two seasons could play with the exception of lighter injuries largely without physical problems, was back to his old form and posted on November 1, 1986 as the first defender of the North Stars a hat-trick.

However, for the 1987/88 season his injury problems returned again and had to due to a hernia and a shoulder injury that led to surgery, pause long time. In the fall of 1988 he returned, but suffered at the beginning of the season an infection in the ankle. After the injury seemed endured, he played in 30 games and scored 18 points scorer. However occurred in January 1989 on the same symptoms in the ankle, and he announced a few days later his career end.

Career as a coach

After the end of his active career Hartsburg remained in the organization of the Minnesota North Stars and was in the summer of 1989, assistant coach Pierre Pagé. The team reached the playoffs, but failed already in the first round and head coach Pagé was dismissed. Hartsburg then moved in August 1990 to the Philadelphia Flyers, where he assisted in four years, Paul Holmgren, Bill Dineen and Terry Simpson. However, all four seasons have been unsuccessful and the team was able to reach the playoffs in each year.

In 1994 he left the Flyers and got his first job as head coach with the Guelph Storm of the Canadian Junior Football League OHL. The team stood in front of their fourth season and Hartsburg led her to the hitherto best year when they won 47 of 66 league games and thus took first place in the league. In the playoffs, the Storm moved without a defeat to the finals, but failed there at the Detroit Junior Red Wings. In addition, he was awarded the Matt Leyden Trophy as the best coach of the League and the CHL Coach of the Year Award as the best coach of the CHL.

Due to this success were the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL became aware of Hartsburg and committed him to the 1995/96 season as head coach. He led the team with 40 wins on the third place in the Western Conference and reached the second round of the playoffs. However, the performance of the team dropped by then. In the following season, the Blackhawks could only qualify as eight best team for the playoffs and the following year they missed the first time since 1969, the final round prompting Hartsburg was fired.

But only shortly after it committed the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim as their new coach and he led the team to the second playoff participation of its six years of existence. But in Anaheim, the team hard Petersburg line was after a positive first season unable to repeat this performance in the following game times and in December 2000 he was released again.

In the summer of 2001, he returned to the Junior League OHL and took over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, both as a coach and as Director of Hockey Operations. After the team had occupied the last place in the Western Conference in the preseason, he led the Greyhounds in the 2001/ 02 season to third place. In the playoffs, but the team was defeated in the very first round. Nevertheless, Hartsburg was the second time the Matt Leyden Trophy as the best coach of the OHL.

However, it drew Hartsburg after the positive season with the Greyhounds back in the NHL and he took the post as assistant coach Ken Hitchcock at the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers played two very good seasons and reached in the season 2003/ 04 the final of the NHL Eastern Conference, where they were beaten narrowly by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

As the NHL season was / 05 canceled in 2004, Hartsburg decided to Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds return. After three average seasons in which the Greyhounds failed twice in the first round and once in the second round of the playoffs, they finished the regular season in 2007/ 08 to third place in the OHL and documents in the final round until the Conference Finals against the eventual winners Kitchener Rangers.

On June 13, 2008 Craig Hartsburg was hired by the Ottawa Senators of the NHL as the new head coach. Hartsburg was to lead the faltering team back to the top of the league, but he failed in his purpose. By unkonstantes play, the goalkeeper and the worst offensive in the league, ranked the Senators after 48 games with 17 wins only in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and had already 14 points behind a playoff berth. Early February 2009, Hartsburg was subsequently dismissed as a coach. On 23 June 2009, he was introduced as the coach of the Everett Silvertips. In the 2009/10 season, he led the team to 46 wins in 72 games of the regular season, did not come in the playoffs, however, beyond the first round. In June 2011 he was engaged by the Calgary Flames as an assistant coach.


Craig Hartsburg 1978 was the first time active for the Canadian national team, he won the bronze medal at the Junior World Cup. This was followed in the next few years inserts at the Senior World Championships in 1982, 1983 and 1987. Twice he won the bronze medal and in 1987 was voted best defender of the tournament. Further matches for the national team he had in 1981 and 1987 at Canada Cup, which he won once.

2006 Hartsburg was assistant coach Brent Sutter, he himself had ten years earlier trained in Chicago, at the U20 World Youth Championship, which ended the Canadian team winning the title. In the tournaments in 2007 and 2008, he finally took himself the responsibility as head coach and led the team both times to the world title.

Awards and achievements

As a player

As a coach