Chris Butler
Chris Butler Flames.png
Position Defense
Shoots Left
6 ft 1 in (0 m)
203 lb (92 kg)
NHL Team
F. Teams
Calgary Flames
Buffalo Sabres
Born October 27 1986 (1986-10-27) (age 33),
St. Louis, MO, USA
NHL Draft 96th overall, 2005
Buffalo Sabres
Pro Career 2008 – present

Chris Butler (born October 27, 1986) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman currently playing for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was a fourth round selection of the Buffalo Sabres, chosen 96th overall at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He then played three seasons at the University of Denver before turning professional in 2008.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Butler grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, playing both hockey and baseball. His father Doug was also a professional hockey player, drafted by the NHL's Boston Bruins and the Calgary Cowboys of the World Hockey Association in 1977,[1] and played parts of three seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL).[2] Doug coached his son as the younger Butler grew up. Chris's mother, martha, was also an athlete who played field hockey while she attended university in St. Louis.[3]

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Junior and college[edit | edit source]

Butler played high school hockey in St. Louis, one season in Junior B followed by two seasons with the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League (USHL).[1] He led the Musketeers with a +36 plus-minus rating in 2004–05, played in the league's All-Star Game and was named to the first All-Star team following the season.[4] He was then selected by the Buffalo Sabres, 96th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft but first committed to attend and play hockey at the University of Denver.[3]

In his first season with the Denver Pioneers, Butler was selected to join the United States junior team at the 2006 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He played four games for the fourth place Americans.[5] Butler spent three seasons with the Pioneers, scoring 20 goals and 66 points in that time.[4] He was the team's assistant captain in 2007–08 and was considered the team's top defenseman while being named an All-American.[3] Butler left the Pioneers following his junior season, signing an entry-level contract with the Sabres.[6]

Professional career[edit | edit source]

Butler began the 2008–09 season with the Sabres' AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates. He appeared in 27 games for the Pirates and scored 12 points when he was recalled to Buffalo on December 18, 2008.[4] He made his NHL debut the following night against the Los Angeles Kings, a 5–0 victory in which he scored his first NHL point with an assist on a goal by Adam Mair.[7] He scored his first goal on March 20, 2009, against Martin Biron Philadelphia Flyers.[4][8] Butler appeared in 47 games for the Sabres in his rookie season, scoring two goals and four assists.[9]

An ankle injury forced Butler out of the Sabres' lineup for 12 games in 2009–10, but he posted improved offensive numbers, scoring 21 points in 59 games.[4] Still, he found himself marginalized by the Sabres late in the season, and stated himself that he lacked consistency in his play in 2010–11.[3] He appeared in 49 games for the Sabres, and while his offensive production dropped to nine points, he improved his plus-minus to +8 after finishing -15 the year previous.[9] Following the season, however, Butler was packaged in a deal that saw him dealt to the Calgary Flames along with Paul Byron on June 25, 2011, in exchange for Robyn Regehr, Ales Kotalik and a second round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.[10] The Flames quickly signed him to a two-year, US$2.5 million contract.[11]

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003–04 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 55 3 6 9 37 7 0 1 1 6
2004–05 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 60 6 22 28 90 13 1 6 7 10
2005–06 Denver Pioneers men's ice hockey WCHA 35 7 15 22 28
2006–07 University of Denver WCHA 39 10 17 27 42
2007–08 University of Denver WCHA 41 3 14 17 38
2008–09 Portland Pirates AHL 27 2 10 12 14 4 0 0 0 0
2008–09 Buffalo Sabres NHL 47 2 4 6 18
2009–10 Buffalo Sabres NHL 59 1 20 21 22
2010–11 Buffalo Sabres NHL 49 2 7 9 26 7 0 1 1 10
NHL totals 155 5 31 36 66 7 0 1 1 10

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cruickshank, Scott. "Flame Butler having a ball", Calgary Herald, 2011-10-09. Retrieved on 2011-10-10. 
  2. Doug Butler statistics. The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved on 2011-10-10.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Odland, Kristen. "Flames newcomer excited for fresh start", Calgary Herald, 2011-10-06. Retrieved on 2011-10-10. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 (2010) 2010–11 Buffalo Sabres Media Guide. Buffalo Sabres Hockey Club, 30. 
  5. Player statistics by team – USA. International Ice Hockey Federation (2006-01-05). Retrieved on 2011-10-10.
  6. Chambers, Mike. "Pioneers' Butler heading to NHL", Denver Post, 2008-04-13, p. C11. Retrieved on 2011-10-10. 
  7. Sabres' Miller stifles Kings to record third shutout of season. ESPN (2008-12-19). Retrieved on 2011-10-10.
  8. Flyers 6, Sabres 4. ESPN (2009-03-20). Retrieved on 2011-10-10.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Chris Butler profile. Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved on 2011-10-11.
  10. Flames deal Regehr, Kotalik to Sabres for Butler, Byron. The Sports Network. Retrieved on 25 June 2011.
  11. Flames sign recently acquired Butler. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2011-07-01). Retrieved on 2011-10-11.

External links[edit | edit source]

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