Photo credit:Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Carter Hutton lands in Toronto, goaltender works out before Maple Leafs skate
1 year ago
More than a month after the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired his rights from the Arizona Coyotes, goaltender Carter Hutton skated in Toronto before his team hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
Hutton was traded to the Maple Leafs on Feb. 21 for future considerations. The transaction occurred shortly after the goaltender cleared waivers following a season beset by knee and ankle injuries. He allowed 15 goals on 58 shots in just three starts with Arizona in 2021-22.
Immediately after the trade, Hutton was assigned to the Tucson Roadrunners, the Coyotes AHL affiliate. Assignment to other NHL teams’ minor-league affiliates is allowed upon consent of all parties involved.
When the trade occurred, there didn’t appear to be any path for Hutton to be an option for the Maple Leafs, but Toronto’s goaltending situation has been far from stable this season.
”Really it’s just about working his way back to health” Keefe said of Hutton’s move up to Toronto. “I think if it gets to that point (returning to play) I think it would be more of a Marlies situation just to add additional depth to the organization. Obviously, we’ve had a number of injuries in goal this season at both levels.”
Jack Campbell has played well as of late, but missed over three weeks with a rib injury and was performing below his previously established level of play as a starting goaltender. Petr Mrazek has been shut down for the remainder of the regular season with his third groin injury. Erik Kallgren, although he started the season well, has struggled lately.
Joseph Woll performed well this season as a backup with the Leafs, but injured his shoulder with the Marlies last month. Michael Hutchinson allowed six goals on 36 shots in two appearances with the Leafs this season.
On Mar. 20, the Leafs attempted to shore up their goaltending depth by signing 2022 Finnish Olympics gold-medallist goaltender Harri Sateri for the remainder of the season. But because he played in the KHL this season, he was subject to waivers and the Coyotes claimed him.
The Leafs intend to give Campbell a bulk of the games remaining on the schedule to gear up for the playoffs in May, although Kallgren gets the nod against the Canadiens on Saturday.
“We had no issues playing him (Kallgren) it was more about having to use Jack more on this trip than we had anticipated,” Keefe said of his decision for his starter.
Kallgren allowed three goals on 23 shots in the Leafs’ 7-6 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. He left the game in the second period with an unknown injury but returned to the bench for the third period. Despite being able to return, Keefe elected to keep Campbell in net for the remainder of the game.
Given the way things have been going with the Leafs’ goaltending situation this season, it’s not a terrible idea to have the 36-year-old Hutton in Toronto as the team gears up for the playoffs.