Chris Butler has been returned to the AHL Chicago Wolves.
The St. Louis Blues announced on Monday morning that they’ve reassigned defenseman Chris Butler to the AHL Chicago Wolves. Butler was recalled on Sunday under emergency conditions and was a part of the Blues’ lineup for their regular season finale against the Colorado Avalanche. He replaced captain Alex Pietrangelo, who rested during the final game of the season after playing in 80 of the team’s first 81 games.
Sunday marked Butler’s first NHL game of the 2016-17 season, and he skated for 21:28 (which trailed only Colton Parayko‘s 23:02 for the most time played among defensemen) while tallying a shot on goal and two blocked shots. Butler, the Wolves’ captain, has skated in 69 AHL games this season, scoring five goals with 20 assists, a plus-23 rating, and 46 penalty minutes.
With Butler and Petteri Lindbohm back in Chicago, the Blues are quite short on defensive depth for the postseason. Robert Bortuzzo is dealing with an upper-body injury and may not be healthy for the start of the series against the Wild. If that’s the case, the Blues will have only six healthy defensemen: Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Carl Gunnarsson, Colton Parayko, Joel Edmundson, and rookie Jordan Schmaltz.
If the Blues make a decently long playoff run, it’s a fair bet that we’ll see Butler, Lindbohm, and possibly more AHL defensemen back with the Blues before the postseason is over.