Report: Devils sign Bobby Butler to one-year deal
by Jesse Connolly/Web Editor
According to multiple reports, including confirmation from Dan Cagen at the MetroWest Daily News, the Devils have signed forward Bobby Butler to a one-year, two-way deal. Cagen reports that Butler will earn $105,000 in the AHL and "over $500,000" in the NHL. Butler is expected to formally sign the pact within the next 24 hours.
Butler, 25, was recently bought out by the Senators after a disappointing second season in the National Hockey League. The Marlborough, Mass., native burst onto the scene midway through the 2010-11 campaign after a strong start to the year with the Sens’ farm team in Binghamton.
After finishing the 2010-11 season with 10-11-21 totals in 36 contests for Ottawa, Butler followed it up by notching just 16 points in 56 games in 2011-12, spending many a night as the team's healthy scratch up front. Even more troubling about his struggles was the fact that Butler saw a good chunk of ice time on the top line, playing alongside star center Jason Spezza.
The buyout stemmed from the fact that Ottawa has a number of promising young players expected to vie for NHL spots and, with Butler on a one-way deal ($1.05 million cap hit), the Senators wouldn’t save any money by demoting him to the American Hockey League.
A former standout at the University of New Hampshire, the signing of Butler is certainly a low-risk, high-reward move by GM Lou Lamoriello.
If the 6-foot-1 winger can tap back into the high potential he showed during his rookie season, he could carve out a role on one of the top three – or perhaps top two – lines for Peter DeBoer’s squad. If not, Butler will be given an opportunity to re-prove himself with the Devils’ AHL squad in Albany.