St. Louis Blues Reassign Defenseman Chris Butler to AHL Chicago Wolves


The St. Louis Blues re-assigned defenseman Chris Butler to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL on Thursday afternoon, which presumably will open up a spot on the roster for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to return on Saturday against the Nashville Predators. Shattenkirk, an All-Star in 2014-15, has not played since October 13 against the Calgary Flames due to a groin injury. Butler had been with the Blues since that injury occurred.

Butler, who played 33 games with the Blues last season, did not see much action during his stint with the NHL club and was mainly around as an insurance policy for one of the team’s top six defensemen. Butler played in just two games, receiving an emergency assignment at forward after Scottie Upshall got sick about an hour before the Blues’ October 24 game against the New York Islanders, then replacing Robert Bortuzzo in the lineup on Wednesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. Butler played 11:50 against Chicago and posted a minus-2 rating.

Butler, who is in his eighth NHL season, did not have to go through waivers to return to Chicago because of the amended rules in the league’s most recent CBA, which allow a player to play in 10 games or spend 30 days on the NHL roster before he has to go through waivers again. The 29-year-old had previously gone through waivers to be re-assigned to Chicago near the end of the Blues’ training camp this year.

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Butler, a St. Louis native who attended both Chaminade College Prep and the University of Denver with Blues teammate Paul Stastny, will surely be back in the NHL at some point this season. Butler makes the most sense as an emergency seventh defenseman if the Blues sustain any more injuries on the blueline, and even if they maintain full health the rest of the way, they’ll likely want to have him helping out the NHL club after rosters expand following the trade deadline, considering that he’s on a one-way, $675,000 contract this season.

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