Friday, December 19, 2008

Chris Butler Gets Called Up To NHL

(above) DU Alum Chris Butler earlier this season

From: Buffalo News
by John Vogl

University of Denver Alum Chris Butler knew something was up. Portland coach Kevin Dineen pulled him aside Thursday afternoon with a little advice: Keep your phone on. The rookie defenseman had an idea that meant the Buffalo Sabres would soon be calling. Sure enough, they did.

The Sabres summoned their top defensive prospect from the minors, and the 22-year-old University of Denver product is expected to make his NHL debut tonight when the Los Angeles Kings visit HSBC Arena.

“I’m very excited, to say the least,” Butler said by phone while awaiting his connection in New York City’s JFK airport.

Butler didn’t want to jinx anything after Dineen’s words of advice, but he did call his parents. His mother cried at the news her boy could be fulfilling his dream, and Butler’s father was just as excited.

Fans should get their chance to see what the excitement is about regarding Butler. He has two goals and 10 assists in 27 games in Portland, an exceptional start for someone’s first professional season. It was time for the initial NHL test.

“It’s what you dream of,” Butler said. “For first-year guys, you’re not sure how you fit into the team’s plans, so you just play your best.

“Anytime you get the call, you’ve got to take advantage.”

The Sabres also recalled Matt Ellis for tonight’s game. The center played seven games in Buffalo at the start of the year before being sent to the Pirates. He may be needed after center Paul Gaustad, who was struck in the face with a puck during practice Monday, missed Thursday’s workout because of lingering effects from the incident.

To clear room on the roster, the Sabres placed left wing Nathan Gerbe on injured reserve. He is expected to miss two weeks with an upper-body injury.

2 comments:

Twister said...

Good luck to Butler!

du78 said...

Chris got an assist and was +2 in the Sabres 5-0 win over the Kings.