After putting up solid numbers in what was his rookie season, while showing some scoring punch on a line with Jason Spezza, Butler was expected to compete for a spot on that top line again and put up 20 goals and 50-60 points in his first full season.
There wasn’t much to cheer about from Butler in this campaign. His 2 goal third period (including the game winner) against the Calgary Flames in mid November were his first two of the season. He added three more game winning tallies to end up with 4 on the season. He set a career high with points in 4 straight games during a hot week in February. In that stretch he amassed a goal and 5 assists.
The fact that 67% of his goals were game winners was disappointing, meaning he only scored 6 times total. He was a healthy scratch quite often, including 4 of the 7 playoff games.
With scratches and injuries, Butler only got into 56 games, adding 10 assists to total a disappointing 16 points on the season. He couldn’t find any consistency. Aside from the 4 game stretch in February, Butler went pointless in the 8 games prior and the 10 games after that streak.
It appeared to be a giant step backwards for Butler in 2011-12. With the offensive potential of the prospects coming into the Ottawa system in the next couple of years, Butler could find himself shuffled out of the NHL this season. My grade for Bobby Butler is: