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Chris Butler (ice hockey)

Chris Butler
Born (1986-10-27) October 27, 1986 (age 27)
St. Louis, MO, USA
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 203 lb (92 kg; 14 st 7 lb)
Position Defense
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Calgary Flames
Buffalo Sabres
National team  United States
NHL Draft 96th overall, 2005
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 2008–present
Medal record
Competitor for the  United States
Ice hockey
Ice Hockey World Championships
Bronze 2013 Sweden/Finland

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

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 college in St. Louis.[3]

Playing career

Junior and college

Butler played high school hockey in St. Louis for Chaminade College Prep., 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

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 of the 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

    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 University of Denver 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
2011–12 Calgary Flames NHL 68 2 13 15 34
2012–13 Karlskrona HK Swe.1 5 0 0 0 8
2012–13 Calgary Flames NHL 44 1 7 8 19
NHL totals 267 8 51 59 119 7 0 1 1 10


Year Team Comp GP G A Pts PIM
2006 United States WJC 4 0 0 0 2
2012 United States WC 8 1 1 2 0
2013 United States WC 10 0 2 2 0
Senior International totals 18 1 3 4 0


External links

  • The Internet Hockey Database
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