Thursday, 12 December 2013

Breaking Butler

bloo bloo bloo

Stan Butler has been the coach of the Brampton/North Bay Battalion since the franchise was created in 1997. He's had a good career. He's also coached the Prince George Cougars in the WHL, the Oshawa Generals in the OHL, and the National Under 18 team. He is the 4th coach in OHL history to coach 1,000 games, and the 7th to win 500 games. 430 of those wins have been with the Battalion.

He coached top prospects Matt Duchene and Cody Hodgson. He won the Central Division in 02/03, 05/06, 07/08, and 08/09, as well as the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern conference champions in 08/09. (They lost the OHL final to eventual Memorial Cup champs Windsor Spitfires in 5 games).

The move from Brampton to North Bay must have been a huge culture shock. From the dusting of snow in the GTA to the "Honey, help me dig a tunnel to the car" snow of North Bay. From suburban sprawl to "damn deer got into the trash again". From a quick hop on the 401 to most opponents to a 4 hour drive just to reach the 401.

The differences in the cities are small, but noticeable

Most importantly, going from last in attendance (avg 2100 out of 5,000) to an area where the OHL is the only game in town and a big boost in attendance (avg 3200 out of 4,400). You'd think after spending a few months with a crowd in an older, non-cavernous arena he'd be used to noise and distractions. Hell, after visiting Niagara you’d think he'd be used to our rinks ability to reverberate noise and how enthusiastically the crowd gets into the game.

Apparently he misses the silence.

On Saturday December 7th something happened in The Jack that I've never seen before.

The visiting coach had security remove Bones, the Ice Dogs’ mascot.
Don't mess with my kids buddy
Now some people hate mascots, some love 'em. I like Bones. His antics always amuse me, especially when sitting next to the visitor’s bench. On Saturday, Bones was up to his usual stuff; smacking the glass by the visitors bench, rubbing his butt on there, climbing the boards and making faces.

Stan Butler, it seems, is a delicate flower.

He did not appreciate this behaviour.

He asked the Refs to stop the game.

They did.

He had security called.

It happened.

[The video has been removed from YouTube]

IceDogs GM & Head Coach Marty Williamson was on CKTB this past Tuesday (Dec 10). Give a listen at 32:28 (the clock counts down) and hear the story from him.

"It's pretty silly, there is a bit of a rule that you can take action if anyone hangs over the glass...Stan was worried one of his players were going to swing at the mascot. I think my players are more focused on the game to do the league has said our mascot has to stay away from their bench"

Stan Butler went crying to the OHL. About a mascot.

OUR mascot.

This means war.

IceDogs fans, I say we stand up and defend Bones. North Bay returns on Feb 22.

Let's make it our mission to #BreakButler.

Bring noisemakers, drums, a tuba, a clarinet (especially if you can't play) to the game.
If you're behind the bench yell, clang, bang, clash, whatever every time he opens his mouth.

Don't let him or his team focus.

Make a sign. Plaster the glass with them. Sit above the opposing team’s player entrance. Play that clarinet badly when he walks by.

Offer him some earplugs & horse blinders for his uncontrollable players.

Let's go full out on this.

Tweet your plans to #BreakButler.

Let's keep it clean, and remember, let's have fun with it.

Man, he should have just taken a page from Craig MacTavish's book.

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