Cardiff will allow long-serving Kevin McNaughton to leave this summer along with Danny Gabbidon and Nicky Maynard.
Highly-rated Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has signed a new five-year contract.
The former Falkirk, Hibernian and Livingston boss takes over a team
sitting second in the Scottish Premiership, with a League Cup semi-final
against Hearts to look forward to as well as a fifth-round William Hill
Scottish Cup tie against Clyde or Stranraer.
Caley Thistle are on a five-match winning streak ahead of their trip to
St Mirren Park on Saturday.
Butcher and assistant Maurice Malpas built on last season's
fourth-placed finish and the players proved their self motivation by
winning three games since the former England captain told them he was
moving to Hibs.
So Hughes does not want to disrupt the momentum and vowed to help the
players continue to express themselves.
The 49-year-old, who will observe as under-20s coach Duncan Shearer
takes training over the next two days, said: "I met the players and you
can tell speaking to them, looking in their eyes and doing a bit of
homework on them, that there are some real good characters in that
dressing room. And instantly you can feel the spirit.
"It's carry on regardless and letting these boys go and do their stuff.
"It's business as usual. I will be trying to do the best for my players
to go out on the pitch and express themselves on Saturday. Keep that
spirit, see if I can add to it and just keep the good work going. It
will be difficult as Terry has done such a good job."
Hughes, who has signed a two-and-a-half year contract, told a media
conference: "If in a couple weeks' time the chairman or one of you guys
asks a player how it is, and he says it is just business as usual, it
just feels like there is being no change, then I have being doing my
job. The transition has to be very, very smooth."
Hughes has been without a job since his contract was terminated at
Hartlepool following a six-month spell in which he was unable to keep
them in League One.
Hughes had taken over with the club nine points from safety and won a
manager of the month award for February after leading a revival that
they could not sustain.
The former Hibs captain was also sacked by the Leith club just five
months after leading them to a European place in his first season in
But he is not one for looking back other than to use his experience to
benefit his new club.
"I've not got a point to prove," he said.
"I'm delighted to be up here and I think my record speaks for itself. I
feel I have had success and I want to bring success to Inverness.
"I'm in a real good part of the world and if I can be up here for four,
six, eight years then that is success."
Hughes insists he is a better manager than the one that left Livingston
just over a year ago following a short spell in West Lothian.
"I think you have to evolve as a manager," he said.
"Every club I have been at I have enjoyed the experience. That's what
makes you the manager that you are and hopefully through all that
experience, good and bad, I can bring that to Inverness and we get
Hughes made his name as a manager at Falkirk, leading them into the top
flight and keeping them there for four years before leaving for Hibs
after the 2009 Scottish Cup final defeat by Rangers.
"If you look at it, I have always had success at a club," he said.
"If you take Hartlepool, I had real good success. But that's the way
football goes. I am old enough and experienced enough to roll with the
Hughes is aware his appointment has not been acclaimed by the entire
Caley Thistle support.
"That goes with it," said Hughes, who vowed to take his time over
appointing an assistant, which could come from within the club.
"All I'm saying is they are getting a guy with experience and a guy who
will immerse himself in the character and culture of Inverness, a guy
who is prepared to work hard and hopefully bring success to Inverness."
The former Celtic, Hibs and Falkirk defender secured the position ahead
of the likes of Alloa boss Paul Hartley and former Kilmarnock manager
Kenny Shiels and Inverness chairman Kenny Cameron stated he was the only
candidate offered the job.
Cameron said: "Of all the people we interviewed, John came through as
highly skilled, very passionate, he understands what the club is about
and understands the community and basically he was the right fit for the
"When you are down at ninth, 10th or 11th you are looking for something
and when you are in the higher echelons you are possibly looking for
"I think in John we have weighed up what we are looking for and got the