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03 January 2018, 01:35 | Nina Mathis
The Rochester, New York, native became an unrestricted free agent following the 2016-17 season and after not being offered a contract, signed with the practice squad of Rochester, the Sabres' American Hockey League affiliate. Butler then delivers the good news, while his Milwaukee teammates cheer. Butler's dad was so overjoyed that he just couldn't stop hugging.
The rosters for the United States men's, women's Olympic teams and the roster United States Paralympics teams were announced during the second period of the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field.
The Olympic tournament is going to be a lot different this year with the lack of involvement of the National Hockey League, which refused to stop its season to send players to the event for the first time since 1994.
The women's Olympic team will be looking to secure their first title since their Olympic debut at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, whilst the men will be hoping to simply finish on the podium after failing to do so at Sochi 2014. The NHL stated that the "overwhelming majority of our clubs are adamantly opposed to disrupting the 2017-2018 NHL season".
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It's a great accomplishment for Butler, who in 2010 was named Hockey East Player of the Year while at UNH and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. And, as SB Nation wrote, National Hockey League stars are out and "in their place are a bunch of guys you've probably never heard of". "Without that option, management turned to a wide variety of sources, plucking players from leagues around the world to piece together a roster for Pyeongchang".
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said the decisions "must be a huge disappointment for the players" - but for Butler and others it presents a wonderful opportunity. It's generally expected that they will send a team to Pyeongchang. Never would I have imagined playing at the highest level of hockey representing my country.
The roster is perplexing to some hockey observers, such as Deadspin's Barry Petchesky, who calls it "weird as hell" with little name recognition. The United States certainly won't be the only team affected by the NHL's lack of participation in the Olympics, but they have undoubtedly been hit as hard as anybody.
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