According to David Rogers of www.frozennotes.com on Monday, the St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Chris Butler from the Calgary Flames last week to a one year deal worth $650,000. Last season with the Flames, Butler had two goals and 14 assists for 16 points in 82 games. It was the first time in Butler's career that he played a full 82 game schedule.
In 349 career games, Butler has 10 goals and 65 assists for 75 points with 158 penalty minutes. However, he has struggled mightily in his own zone in his career as he is a career -38.
Butler apparently is excited to be joining the Blues because he is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and the Blues were his favourite team growing up. The move meanwhile is an interesting one for the Blues who are already loaded at the position of defense.
Kevin Shattenkirk, Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo are the top three Blues defensemen, while Barret Jackman, Jordan Leopold and Carl Gunnarsson round out a Blues defense that could be considered the best in the National Hockey League. Bouwmeester and Leopold are also former Flames, while Gunnarsson was another defenseman the Blues have acquired since the end of last season. On June 28, the Blues traded Roman Polak to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Gunnarsson and a fourth round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Expect Butler to be a reserve defenseman and not see much playing time. In fact, with the Blues also having Ian Cole on their roster, who is making $250,000 more than Butler, it would not be surprising if Butler spends most of his time with the Blues' minor league affiliate in Chicago unless the Blues plan to carry eight defensemen. From a Flames perspective, the move may give youngster Tyler Wotherspoon more playing time at the NHL level when the regular season gets started in October.