OSHAWA, Ont. — Stan Butler stepped away from the bench of the North Bay Battalion as it faced the Oshawa Generals in an Ontario Hockey League game Sunday night, citing the need to take some rest.
“I’m going to take today and try to get some things sorted out,” said Butler, who consulted the Generals’ club doctor before the game.
Assistant coaches Scott Wray and Adam Dennis manned the Battalion bench in Butler’s absence.
Butler, director of hockey operations and head coach of the Battalion since a year before it began play in Brampton in the 1998-99 season, saw the Troops suffer a third consecutive loss Saturday night, a 6-1 setback to the Niagara IceDogs at St. Catharines. That gave North Bay a won-lost-extended record of 1-3-0 in the new season, after a 7-5 home-ice victory Sept. 21 over the Hamilton Bulldogs.
A 62-year-old native of East York, now part of Toronto, Butler ranked fourth in career OHL coaching wins after the Niagara game with a won-lost-tied record of 703-728-65 in 1,496 games, including 633-679-52 in 1,364 Battalion games. He coached Oshawa for two seasons starting in 1994-95, going 70-49-13.
Butler trails Brian Kilrea with 1,194 OHL wins, Bert Templeton with 907 and Dale Hunter with 728.
Butler also coached the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League in 1996-97, giving him a record of 731-767-70 in 1,568 games in the Canadian Hockey League, which embraces the OHL, WHL and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The Battalion, which overnighted at Oshawa on Saturday night, returns to action against the visiting Ottawa 67’s at 7 p.m. Wednesday.