April 26, 2013

Butler to represent USA in IIHF World Championship

By Jesse Connolly

Bobby Butler has scored three goals in his last six games for the Preds. (Getty Images)

Marlborough, Mass., native Bobby Butler was among the first 15 players named to the 2013 U.S. Men’s National Team that’ll compete in the IIHF World Championship May 3-19 in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm Sweden.

Butler, who celebrate his celebrates his 26th birthday April 26, is settling in down in Nashville after a trying calendar year. The former UNH standout thrived during his rookie season in Ottawa in 2010-11 with 21 points in 36 games, but he saw a wealth of time as a healthy scratch under new coach Paul MacLean the following year and was subsequently waived last summer.

After posting 1-1-2 totals in 14 games with the Devils, Butler was again placed on waivers in early March. Since joining the Predators, the 2010 Hobey Baker Award finalist has notched nine points through 19 games, five of which have come in his last six contests.

Team USA will continue to add players to the roster leading up to the start of the tournament, which begins six days after the NHL’s regular season wraps up.

Butler isn’t the only player with New England ties on the team.

Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop will likely be the squad’s starter between the pipes. Bishop shined at the University of Maine from 2005 to 2008. Avalanche bench boss Joe Sacco (Medford, Mass.) will serve as the team's head coach.

Former Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick (Avalanche) and former P-Bruins captain Nate Thompson (Lightning) will also be representing the United States.

Team USA’s first game is against Latvia at 5:15 a.m. EST on May 4 in Helsinki.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com