Chris Butler picked a glorious way to end his 11-year professional hockey career, going out as a Stanley Cup winner.
Wearing the uniform of his hometown team, the St. Louis Blues, the 32-year-old former Pioneer defenseman took his final skate on NHL ice on June 12th, holding aloft the Stanley Cup Trophy that he’d helped his Blues to win, appearing in 13 NHL games last season. Over his career, Butler had appeared in 407 NHL games with St. Louis, Calgary and Buffalo, with the rest of his career spent mostly in the AHL, as well as a short stint in Sweden in 2012-13. Over his NHL career, he’d scored 14 goals and picked-up 72 assists for 86 points.Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reported on July 2 that Butler is retiring from hockey. The Blues had called-up Butler before the NHL playoffs from the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, where he’s served as Team Captain least year, allowing him the chance to be with the Blues through their epic run to the Stanley Cup championship.
Butler played three seasons with the Denver Pioneers from 2006-2008, scoring 20 career goals and 66 points. He won WCHA All-Rookie Team honors in his freshman year and served as DU’s assistant captain in 2007–08, his all-WCHA, all-American junior season. Butler left the Pioneers following that year, signing an entry-level NHL contract with the Buffalo Sabres, the team that had drafted him in the fourth round in 2005.
He was an NHL regular from the 2008 season through the 2014 season, with the last five years of his career split between the NHL and the AHL. He also was a three-time member of Team USA in international competitions, including the World Junior Championship in 2006 during his DU career, and in the World Championships in 2012 and 2013, winning a Bronze Medal in 2013.
Butler (#25 at far left) celebrates with St. Louis Blues after beating the the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)