From Nikita to Bobby

Monday, December 12, 2011 ·

Now that the Nikita Filatov experiment is over for this season (maybe for good) the question I have is, how long will the Bobby Butler experiment last? G.M. Bryan Murray and head coach Paul Maclean made it abundantly clear today, if you're a player that is expected to put up points, then you'd better do just that. Both Murray and Maclean acknowledge that's not really fair, but that's NHL hockey. They're right. Which brings us to Bobby Butler. He's worked hard all season, but what exactly is the young winger bringing if he's not scoring? He's in exactly the same position Filatov was. A young player that has been given opportunity (Butler even more-so) that has failed to take advantage.

The difference between Butler and Filatov is their contracts. Having scored just twice in 21 games (both coming in the same game), I would assume if Butler was still on entry level he would have already spent some time in Binghamton this season. He is in year one of a two year, one way contract, that pays him 900,000 this season. However, despite being on a one way, inexperience in the NHL means Butler still has to play 11 NHL games before he is no longer waiver exempt ( http://bit.ly/sLOV1M).

After once again getting his share of minutes with top 6 players (which included power play time) in recent games, Butler found himself back on the 4th line again for practice today. Now that Peter Regin is healthy, his window to show something in the top 6 has probably closed for the time being. Why not take advantage of his waiver exempt status while it still exists? See if some time in Bingo can rekindle a scoring touch saw him pot 45 goals in 106 pro games last season. Like Filatov, Butler is a young player that's expected to score. The Sens have other players to do the 'little things". It's not fair, but that's the NHL.

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Welcome to my Healthy Scratches blog. You can hear Jason York and myself weekdays from 3-6 on Team 1200. I use this blog to expand upon some of the things we talk about on the show, and anything else that really pops into my ample head.
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