The New Jersey Devils have placed right winger Bobby Butler on waivers after benching him for a large portion of the last two losses. If the Massachusetts native is not picked up by another club before noon on Monday, he can be assigned to the team’s AHL affiliate in Albany.
Butler was on the ice for this morning’s optional practice. However, Coach Pete DeBoer will not be putting him in the lineup for tomorrow’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs even if he clears waivers.
“I’ve said right from Day One we’re going to shuffle guys in and out of those depth positions so that we get energy,” DeBoer explained to reporters.
Butler only had one shift in the third period in Thursday’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Yesterday, the game statistics give the 25 year old forward credit for one two-second shift in the third against the Buffalo Sabres. He didn’t hit the ice at all in overtime.
“I’m not targeting him,” DeBoer said when asked what Butler had done to warrant riding the pine this week. “Just trying to get wins, that’s all.”
With Butler obviously out, the Devils will either have to return Krys Barch, who has been a healthy scratch for the past two games, into the lineup or call up another forward.
After having his contract bought out by the Ottawa Senators over the summer, Butler signed a two-way deal with the Devils. DeBoer gave the young winger an opportunity in the shootout loss against his former team on February 18th, but Butler missed in the attempt.
In 14 games this season, Butler had one goal and one assist and had a plus/minus rating of minus six.
According to DeBoer, there hasn’t been any change in the status of goaltender Martin Brodeur. Brodeur has not played since taking himself out of last Sunday’s game against the Jets in warm-ups with a sore back.
He is eligible to come off of injured reserve on Monday. However, it does not seem likely he will fly to Canada to meet the Devils in Toronto.
“No update,” DeBoer said. “Status quo. We still don’t believe it’s long-term serious.”