Admirals' Bobby Butler ready for the Olympics
Bobby Butler, US Olympian.
“When you say it it sounds pretty cool.“
Bobby Butler, master of the understatement. “Pretty cool.” I think I’d go with breathtaking, astonishing or simply unbelievable. The soft-spoken Milwaukee Admirals forward is about to achieve a life-long goal, playing for team USA hockey.
“It was special. I got the chills up and down my body." Butler says "It was something you think about growing up. Pure excitement."
So much of the mystique surrounding USA hockey is all about the 1980 Miracle on Ice when the United States beat the Soviet Union. Bobby wasn’t alive for that game but it found a way to inspire him. He tells me that he first started thinking about it after watching the movie "Miracle" with his high school teammates.
Bobby thought his Olympic dreams were dashed when he spent the past two seasons playing overseas after bouncing between the AHL and NHL. Then the NHL announced that it will not allow players to compete in the 20-18 Olympics. Bobby specifically signed an AHL-only contract with the Admirals just so that he could have a chance to make team USA.
“You can dream it, think it, but until it happens. I’m lucky and fortunate to be in this situation.”
And it isn’t just his dream. Bobby’s family has supported him since the first day he laced up his skates 27 years ago. That’s why it was so important for him to tell his dad in person during an Admirals practice.
“He just grabbed me and said ‘I’m so proud of you’ and started crying. I think he was more in shock than he thought. It was just a big hug. He’s a big teddy bear so I knew the hug was coming.”