The Worcester Railers will need a new captain next season as Bobby Butler has announced his retirement from professional hockey. Butler’s career began and ended in his home state of Massachusetts as he played his collegiate hockey at the University of New Hampshire, where he played in 153 games, putting up 61 goals and 60 assists for 121 points. In his senior year with the Wildcats, he put up 29 goals and 24 assists for 53 points in 39 games. He would be named the Hockey East Player of the Year and led the league in scoring that season; along with being named Hockey East Player of the Year, he would also be nominated as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. Butler would sign an entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators after finishing his collegiate career and would spend the next four seasons bouncing around the NHL and AHL as he also spent time with the New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators, and Florida Panthers, putting up 20 goals and 29 assists for 49 points in 130 NHL games. He would be a two-time AHL All-Star finishing his career with 119 goals and 112 assists for 231 points. After the 2014-15 season, Butler would go overseas and spent a year in the SHL, where he put up ten goals and nine assists for 19 points in 49 games, then spent the following season in the KHL, where he put up seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 50 games.
Butler would come back to North America during the 2017-18 season, where he played 67 games for the Milwaukee Admirals, putting up 24 goals and 21 assists for 45 points; he would also be named to the United States Olympic team in 2018 where he played in five games but failed to find the score sheet. He would spend the 2018-19 season in Hartford, putting up eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points in 69 games. Butler would take two years off from playing as he spent time as the Director of Hockey Operations for the Junior Railers before joining the Worcester Railers for the final two seasons of his playing career, where he’d be named the captain and put up 23 goals and 31 assists for 54 points in 83 games while also serving as a volunteer coach for the College of Holy Cross. Butler will continue to serve as the Director of Hockey Operations for the Junior Railers. “I’m excited for the next chapter of being there for my family,” Butler said. “I can’t wait to help the young hockey players around the Worcester area enjoy the same experiences I was lucky enough to enjoy my whole life,” said Butler in a press release by the Railers.