What Dick Butler lacked in size, he more than made up for in speed and determination. The 5'7" Butler joined the Trail Smoke Eaters of the WKJHL back in 1943 at the age of 17. In the spring of 1944 the club advanced to the Memorial Cup tournament, where Butler scored seven goals and 15 points in 17 games. Despite a solid showing by the Smoke Eaters during the playoff run, the Oshawa Generals of the OHA were crowned champions that year.
In 1944-45, Butler began a two-year stint with the Moose Jaw Canucks of the SSJHL. Both years the club advanced to the Memorial Cup tournament, making Butler one of the few players in history to have made it to three Memorial Cup tournaments in a row. In 1956, he scored 13 goals and 23 points to lead all playoff scorers. However, the team failed to win the championship either year.
Butler turned pro in 1946-47, joining the Kansas City Pla-Mors of the USHL. In 59 games, he scored 19 times while picking up 58 points. Most of the following season was spent with the Pla-Mors, but Butler was called up to play seven games in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, the highlight of his professional career. In that short stint he did manage to score a pair of goals. Despite his strong play, he was never to be seen in the NHL after that.
For the next six years, Butler toiled in the minors, primarily with teams in the USHL, where he was a First Team All-Star selection as a member of the Tulsa Oilers, based on his 42-goal, 83-point season in 1948-49. He also saw time with the Calgary Stampeders of the PCHL before joining the Spokane Flyers in 1952-53, a strong team which played for the Allan Cup championship, eventually won by the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen.
The following season, Butler played for the Vernon Canadians of the OSHL, where he contributed 27 goals and 65 points in 53 games. He continued to play at the semi-pro level with the Kindersley Klippers of the SIHA before retiring from hockey in 1958.
Butler played a total of seven NHL games, scoring two goals.