WORCESTER — Bobby Butler is back — again.
The Worcester Railers signed the veteran forward Friday for the remainder of the season, and he'll be in the lineup Friday night against the Trois Rivières at DCU Center.
Butler, 34, of Marlborough came out of retirement and helped the Railers to a 5-3 victory with a goal and two assists against the Reading Royals on Jan. 2. It was his first pro game since 2019. Afterward, he was asked if he thought about continuing to help the Railers, but the veteran of 130 NHL games half-jokingly said he had to ice down his body first.
“I’m feeling OK,” he said.
The biggest reason for his return to the ice is for his family. Butler enjoys the fact that his sons, Vincent, 6, and Beckham, 5, along with his daughter, Vivienne, 2½, are old enough now to watch their dad play.
“It’s cool, and I appreciate it,” he said. “I think my kids will enjoy it, so I’m excited for that. Hopefully they can now remember as they get older.”
Currently, Butler is also an assistant coach for the Holy Cross men’s hockey team, and is also the director of hockey operations for the Worcester Junior Railers. Many of the players from both organizations were in attendance for his Railers debut on Jan. 2. Butler believes this is an example of how hard work can pay off for those players.
“It’s cool that they can (watch),” he said. “I grew up around here and used to go to IceCats games when I was little, and now for my kids and the kids I coach, it’s cool. The hockey community is small, but it’s special. I’m just excited.”
In the days following his Railers debut, Butler received numerous calls and text messages, which also served as encouragement.
“It was a lot of ‘Can’t believe you pulled that off’ type of text messages,” he said.
Butler's not looking too far ahead. He's enjoying this opportunity, and that's all he's focused on at this point.
“I’m one game at a time,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve always been a one-game-at-a-time guy.”
During his NHL career, Butler played for the Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers. A former Olympian for Team USA, he has scored goals in the NHL, AHL, KHL, Swedish Elite League and ECHL.
—Contact Joe McDonald at JMcDonald2@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter@JoeyMacHockey.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Marlborough's Bobby Butler is back, signs with Worcester Railers