As the 2018 Olympics roll around, athletes are finding out if they're making the cut. For some, it will be a return trip to the games, but for others, it will be the first time their Olympic dreams are coming true.
One of the most talked about sports this Olympics will be ice hockey, but it's not for the reasons you'd might expect. Normally, professional hockey players from the National Hockey League attend the Olympic games for their respective countries. However, this year, the league and team owners decided that players who were under NHL contracts would not be allowed to attend the Olympic games, as insurance costs would be too high. This meant national teams would have to look at other options for their rosters.
While the NHL players may not like the decision, it does open the door for other players who, although they're not in the big leagues, still have a lot of talent to offer.
That's why when 30-year-old Bobby Butler told his dad he was going to the Olympics, there was not a dry eye in the house.
Butler went undrafted in the National Hockey League, but in 2010, he signed a contract with the Ottawa Senators of the NHL, who he played with for two years. After that, Butler played for a few other NHL teams, but he never found his groove. He went to play hockey in Sweden and Russia, then returned to North America and signed in the American Hockey League with the Milwaukee Admirals.
Because he doesn't have an NHL contract, the Massachusetts native was eligible to be selected to the USA Men's Hockey Team for the upcoming 2018 Olympics. Instead of calling his dad on the phone to let him know the good news, Butler invited his dad onto the bench to let him know the good news.
You can feel the sheer joy between Butler and his dad, both elated at the chance for Bobby to represent his country on the international stage.
So awesome, brought tears to my eyes.— Margie (@MargieMannke) January 2, 2018
And this is why it's going to be an amazing hockey tournament!— Valentine (@valmatrat) January 3, 2018
That's so nice to witness. His dad giving hugs ðŸ¤—, both happy.— Christian (@ManWithIssues_) January 2, 2018