Before the frenzy of free agency begins on Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed one of their acquisitions last season. Retaining the services of goaltender Michael Hutchinson for another season.
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) June 28, 2019
Per Cap Friendly, the Leafs have re-signed the 29-year-old netminder for one more year, on a one-way NHL contract at the price of $700,000 — the newly-established minimum.
Acquired mid-season from the Florida Panthers while the Leafs were facing a goaltending crisis at the price of just a fifth-round pick, he quickly established at least some sense of goalie depth.
While he only played a total of five games in the NHL with the Leafs — posting a .914 save percentage — Hutchinson mainly played with the Marlies. A total of 23 appearances in the regular season, he was able to keep. .910 save percentage, while also play in two playoff games.
With this signing, the Leafs have appeared to lock-up their backup position, meaning that Garret Sparks is most likely on his way out. There have been rumours spreading that Dubas and his team have been trying to find a fit somewhere else for Sparks, but no trade as of yet.
There are limited spaces available, since every goalie wants significant playing time. But with two top goaltending prospects in Joseph Woll and Ian Scott turning professional next season, there are two less spots available throughout the organization.
Andersen and Hutchinson are most likely the tandem with the big club, while Kasimir Kaskisuo and Joseph Woll are your Marlies goaltenders, and Ian Scott should get enough playing time with the Growlers in the ECHL.
Hutchinson should be a fine backup for Andersen. In his time at the top level, he’s never impressed on the level of insanity but he’s just always been there and adequate enough. He shouldn’t cost the Leafs any games, while being able to play 20 or so games covering for the Dane.