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Predators and Panthers swap RFA’s

Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Nashville Predators have traded forward Bobby Butler to the Florida Panthers for defenseman T.J. Brennan.

Both players are set to become restricted free agents on July 5.

At first glance, this may seem like a lateral move but look a little closer. Brennan has contributed offensively the last couple seasons. At the AHL-level last year, he spent time as the alternate captain of the Rochester Americans and was a point-per-game player (again, remember, from the blueline). Once he was traded to the Panthers on March 15, his contributions didn’t stop. He tallied an impressive nine points in 19 games on a bad Florida team.

Butler performed his best in the final seven games of the season for the Predators. He scored five points in that span and then went onto play for the United States at the 2013 World Championships where he registered three goals and an assist in eight games.

Nashville plucked Butler off the waiver wire from the New Jersey Devils on March 4.

The official press release is below.


Nashville, Tenn. (June 14, 2013) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired defenseman TJ Brennan from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Bobby Butler.

Brennan, 24 (4/3/89), split the 2012-13 season between the Buffalo and Florida organizations, posting 10 points (3g-7a) in 29 games with the Sabres and Panthers, and 35 points (14g-21a) in 36 games with Rochester (AHL). The 6-0, 203-pound native of Willingboro, N.J., has 40 NHL games (4g-7a-11pts) and 225 AHL games (51g-76a-127pts) to his credit since turning pro for the 2009-10 campaign. In 2011-12, he tied for the AHL defensemen lead in goals (16).

Buffalo’s first selection, 31st overall (second round), in the 2007 Entry Draft played three seasons in the QMJHL with St. John’s and Montreal from 2006-07, totaling 116 points (37g-79a) in 192 games and earning league rookie of the year honors in 2007.

SPECIAL THANKS to Smashville 24/7’s Amanda DiPaolo for the tip.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua (used with permission)