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WATCH: Hockey Player Tells Dad He Made The Olympic Team

Bobby Butler during hockey training camp when he played for the Florida Panthers in 2014.
Lynne Sladky AP
Bobby Butler during hockey training camp when he played for the Florida Panthers in 2014.

The U.S. unveiled its roster for the men's Olympic hockey team on Monday.

And the joyful, emotional moment when forward Bobby Butler told his dad that he made the team was caught on video.

It shows Butler skating up to the side of the rink as his father walks in. The two men shake hands, then Butler breaks the news. His dad immediately throws his arms around him as his teammates cheer.


Watch, it will probably brighten your day:

The 30-year-old Butler, who hails from Marlborough, Mass., skates for the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals.

Like 14 of his Olympic teammates, Butler has played on NHL teams. But this is the first Olympics in two decades that no U.S. team members are currently playing for the NHL.

That's because the NHL announced last April that it wouldn't pause its regular season to accommodate players who want to compete at the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The NHL stated that the "overwhelming majority of our clubs are adamantly opposed to disrupting the 2017-2018 NHL season."

The decision was also about money, as NPR's Camila Domonoske reported: "The International Olympic Committee has previously paid for players to travel to the Olympics and covered their insurance costs. But the IOC wasn't planning to foot the bill for 2018."


The players on the men's final roster came from colleges, from Americans playing in Europe and from the American Hockey League. And, as SB Nation wrote, NHL stars are out and "in their place are a bunch of guys you've probably never heard of."

In previous years, "USA Hockey got all its Olympic players from one league: the NHL," according to SB Nation. "Without that option, management turned to a wide variety of sources, plucking players from leagues around the world to piece together a roster for Pyeongchang."

The NHL's decision created a unique opportunity for players who would not have been able to make the team otherwise. Just one member of the team, captain Brian Gionta, has played in the Olympics before.

"We really like our roster," team general manager Jim Johannson said in a statement. "It's a group that brings versatility and experience and includes players with a lot of passion about representing our country."

The roster is perplexing to some hockey observers, such as Deadspin's Barry Petchesky, who calls it "weird as hell" with little name recognition.

But it may be that the lack of prior fame makes moments like Butler's all the more poignant.

"I know we're a little down on the Olympics without the NHL, but these are the kinds of moments that make me so happy for the players selected," writes ESPN hockey analyst Chris Peters. "You know they'll battle every day for the crest on that jersey."

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