The Nashville Predators have managed only one goal per game in their three games, which have all been losses. The team claimed forward Bobby Butler off waivers on Monday, and will now find out if the young winger can have an impact with their team. Butler had a goal and an assist in 14 games with the New Jersey Devils this season, but had flashes of offensive brilliance with the Ottawa Senators the past two seasons.
Butler joined the Senators as an undrafted free agent after four years of college hockey with the University of New Hampshire. He split the 2010-11 season between the AHL’s Binghamton Senators and Ottawa, scoring 22 goals in the minors and adding 10 at the NHL level. Last season saw him play 56 games for Ottawa and he scored six goals and added 10 assists.
The Predators have had trouble scoring goals all season and have depended on the goaltending of Pekka Rinne to help them win games. Gabriel Bourque leads the team with six goals and Colin Wilson (five goals) and Mike Fisher (four goals) are the only players who have scored more than three times. The Predators are dead last in the league in goals per game, and they clearly see something they like in Butler. After Tuesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Kings, the Predators have had a long break, and face the Edmonton Oilers at home Friday night. If Butler can find success with an expanded role in Nashville, he would be the second player this season to do so. Winger Rich Clune is having a big impact for the team after being claimed off waivers early in the season, despite having not played in the NHL since the 2009-10 season.