Butler called to the big league

By Taylor McKee

It was a special night for University of Calgary Dinos goaltender Dustin Butler. The Vancouver Canucks played the Calgary Flames on April 10, a game without major playoff implications for either team with the Canucks firmly secured in a playoff position and the Flames attempting to finish their season with pride. However, there was one remarkable storyline that emerged in the hours leading up to the game.

The scheduled starting goalie for the Canucks, Cory Schneider, was unable to play after contracting an illness the afternoon of game-day. Enter Dinos goalie Dustin Butler as an emergency call-up for the Canucks and a once in a lifetime opportunity for the 2011 CIS goaltender of the year and former Portland Winterhawk. Butler even recognized a familiar face from his time as a Winterhawk as he played with Canuck forward Jannik Hansen in his first season playing in North America.

The Canucks were generally quite hospitable to their new teammate and Butler was treated like any other rookie, ribbing included. “They gave me the gears just like any rookie call-up. Just normal hockey fun,” said Butler in a radio interview. Butler also was the victim of a rookie prank in warm-up, taking the ice without his teammates joining him for about 20 seconds.

Though Butler never saw game action, he was able to warm-up with the Canucks and sat on the bench, backing up Roberto Luongo for the Canucks 4–1 win over the Flames and was truly elated to have been given this opportunity, especially as Butler noted that he has been a fan of Luongo for several years. Butler is currently considering his options for next season as he has played all five years of his eligibility for the Dinos. Certainly, this was quite a way to end his CIS career.

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