The Florida Panthers made a minor trade Friday with the Nashville Predators, sending D T.J. Brennan to Nashville in exchange for RW Bobby Butler. Brennan who was acquired by the Panthers on March 15 in exchange for a fifth round pick (2013). Butler was acquired by the Predators on March 4, playing 20 games with the Predators, recording 3 goals and 6 assists.
Florida currently has 6 defenseman under contract, not including RFA Colby Robak, prospect Alex Petrovic and UFA to be Tyson Strachan, giving them the ability to trade a defender. Where Butler will fit into their lineup most likely will not be determined until training camp begins in September, but it also leaves the possibility of a buyout for underachiever Scotty Upshall. If Dale Tallon goes this route he would have successfully freed up $3 million in cap space.
Both Butler and Brennan are currently RFA’s and the next step will be re-signing them by both clubs. The acquisition of Brennan gives the Predators defensive depth, along with a strong defenseman for their AHL affiliate should he not make the big club out of camp. Originally drafted in hopes of replacing Brian Campbell in Buffalo, Brennan has struggled to crack the lineup in Buffalo before being traded to Florida. With the young crop of prospects in Florida’s system ready to make the jump to the NHL there simply was no room for him making him expendable. Butler comes to Florida having shown flashes of brilliance in the past, but I feel was never given proper ice time to develop, in Florida he may get just that. Butler may not turn into an offensive threat in Florida, but he is a very good depth player that will surely help to boost Florida’s struggling offense, even if slightly.
Butler scoring a beautiful goal while with Ottawa.