Texas Stars' Etienne Boutet Leaves Pro Ranks, Heads to College

Etienne Boutet in preseason with Texas (Credit: Michael Connell/Texas Stars)
According to Nicolas Ducharme of Le Nouvelliste, Texas Stars and Idaho Steelheads rookie defenseman Etienne Boutet intends to leave the professional game and head to university, joining the McGill Redmen hockey team and enrolling there for the spring semester. McGill is a Canadian university in Montreal.

Yesterday, the AHL transaction sheet showed that Boutet had been recalled from the ECHL and immediately placed on team suspension by the Texas Stars. Texas and Idaho both had 'no comment' regarding the transaction and have no further comment on the news that Boutet is leaving for college.

Boutet was signed late last season on a standard AHL player contract for the 2013-14 season. He had played five seasons in the QMJHL prior to joining the pros. The rookie blue liner had a solid start but was still raw as any rookie defenseman would be expected. He had 2-7-9 in 25 games with Idaho and a plus-10 rating. Especially with Ryan Button and Hubert Labrie in Texas for extended periods, Boutet was getting a lot of time in the Steelheads' lineup.

Similar to the earlier suspension of Carl Sneep by the Steelheads, the suspension of Boutet means that he cannot sign an AHL contract with another team for the rest of the season but is free to play in unaffiliated leagues like the CIS.