NHL Rumors-Notes: Will Butcher – Avalanche, Stars, Maple Leafs and Devils

NHL Rumors-Notes: Will Butcher – Avalanche, Stars, Maple Leafs and Devils

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Will Butcher tells the Colorado Avalanche that he'll be testing the free agent waters in August

On the Colorado Avalanche and Will Butcher …

Adrian Dater of BSN Denver: Will Butcher has let the Avalanche know that he won’t be signing with them and will become a UFA on August 15th.

“We informed the Avalanche of that decision,” Butcher’s agent, Brian Bartlett, told BSN Denver. “We appreciate what Colorado has done, and we’re not ruling out the Avalanche as a potential destination. But we just feel there will be other opportunities that should be explored too, and therefore we’re going (to the 15th).”

The Avs drafted Butcher 123rd overall in 2013. The defenseman won the 2017 Hobey Baker Award.

“He’s in a unique position, so he has the opportunity to take advantage of it,” Bartlett said. “Those things don’t come around too often.”

On Will Butcher …

Sean Shapiro: Can’t really see the Dallas Stars being a good fit for Will Butcher. “Why would Butcher sign with an org that log-jammed already on blue line?”

Scott Wheeler: “He’s exceptionally talented, will be cheap, and is one year in the AHL away from being an everyday NHL defenceman.” … “Before Leafs fans inevitably people ask: He shoots left.”

Chris Ryan of NJ.com: It would make a lot sense if the New Jersey Devils were interested in defenseman Will Butcher if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Devils have been looking to upgrade their blue line.

The Devils won’t be the only team interested in the two-way defenseman. The longest deal Butcher can sign is for two years and he’s limited on the salary he can sign for – entry-level deal. Teams will be offering similar contracts, so opportunity could play a big part in his decision.

The Devils could provide Butcher with the opportunity to play in the NHL immediately.

Teams are not able to speak with Butcher until after August 15th.