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From Hollywood to the GM’s Chair

New Norfolk Admirals General Manager Mike Butters has a rather interesting pedigree. From the Manitoba Bisons, to Hollywood, to the Helena Bighorns to the AHL. Butters, a friend of Oren Koules, has taken over as GM in Norfolk after learning the hockey business in Helena, Montana.

Taking over the helm of an AHL team — the 42-year-old was named GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s farm team, the Norfolk Admirals, last month — isn’t something he really planned.

“As a kid I always wanted to win a Stanley Cup and win an Academy Award,” he said. “I haven’t got to either one, yet.”

No, but he’s one step away from the best league in hockey. And to think, he’s here, in part, thanks to his connections in the movie biz.

It was while Butters was playing the struggling-actor role in Los Angeles that he met a fellow hockey and movie nut named Oren Koules.

Koules was a film producer, his credits including the Saw horror franchise, and the two hit it off.

Butters wound up with bit parts in Saw and some of its sequels (including Saw V, which comes out in October), and a not-so-bit part with Koules’s new hockey toy, the Junior A Helena Bighorns.

I am interested to see how Butters does in Norfolk. Having watched an AHL operation up close, the GM is often a very busy guy. Maybe Butters’ unique perspective will pay dividends?