BUFFALO, NY (December 18, 2008) – Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have recalled defenseman Chris Butler and forward Matt Ellis from Portland (AHL). In addition, Regier also announced that Nathan Gerbe has been placed on Injured Reserve.
Butler (10/27/1986, 6’1”, 200 lbs.) has 12 points (2+10) and 14 PIMs in 27 games in his first professional season with Portland. A native of St. Louis, Mo., Butler played college hockey with the University of Denver for three years before turning pro. He finished with 66 points (20+46) in 115 games for the Pioneers, with 11 of his 20 goals coming on the power play. Butler was Buffalo’s 4th-round selection (96th overall) in the 2005 Entry Draft.
Ellis (8/31/81, 6’1”, 210 lbs.) has picked up four points (2+2) in 12 games with Portland this season. He started the season in Buffalo and was held pointless in seven games, after being claimed off waivers from Los Angeles in the preseason. Ellis has eight points (3+5) in 77 career NHL games with Buffalo, Los Angeles and Detroit.
Gerbe didn’t play in Wednesday’s loss to New Jersey, after suffering an upper body injury in last Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Devils. Gerbe had one point in five games since being recalled from Portland on December 6.
Hopefully bringing Butler up will spark the defense to play with a little more passion. Him getting the call over Mike Weber will certainly be a topic of discussion. Rookie nerves are inevitable but I’m excited to see what Butler will bring to the table.
And Ellis doesn’t exactly provide any offensive firepower (remember Stafford and two grinders provided all of the Sabres goals last game). Ellis was more or less of a nowhere man in his first stint with the Sabres so I’m surprised Ruff and Regier decided to go with him again over Marc Mancari or Tim Kennedy.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Nathan Paetsch and Clarke MacArthur find themselves watching tomorrow night’s game against the Kings in the press box.
Can’t wait to hear what Ruff has to say after tomorrow’s practice.