Hutton signed a two-year, $2.25 million contract with the Blues on Friday. The Predators didn't hide their feelings about Hutton. General manager Dave Poile procured a contract with goalie Marek Mazanec in mid-June, explaining that he was at a "dead end" with Hutton, who should now serve as the backup to Jake Allen in St. Louis. Hutton had been itching for more playing time in Nashville, but the Preds were adamant about letting Pekka Rinne grab the lion's share of the work -- he did just that, making 80 starts between the regular season and playoffs. In his brief NHL career, Hutton has a 33-24-12 record, 2.56 GAA and .910 save percentage. He won't be a viable fantasy goalie until the playing time increases.
General Manager Dave Poile told reporters that Hutton viewed remaining with the Predators as a "dead end" which likely ends his tenure with the club. Poile's statement came after the organization signed netminder Marek Mazanec to a new contract. Hutton appeared in a mere 20 contests this season on his way to a 7-5-4 record with a 2.34 GAA. Starter Pekka Rinne is not going anywhere, so few people could blame the 30-year-old Hutton from wanting to move on, but questions will remain regarding whether or not he has proven he can be a number one goaltender.
Hutton who becomes a restricted free agent July 1, may not be back with the Predators next season, Adam Vingan of The Tenneseean reports. Hutton posted decent numbers last season in a backup role to Pekka Rinne (7-5-4 record; .918 save percentage, 2.33 GAA), so it wouldn't be surprising if the Preds decided to bring him back. However, given that he will likely command an increase on his current salary of $750,000, and with AHL prospects Marek Mazanec and Juuse Saros waiting in the wings, the Preds may decide to go the cheaper route and allow Hutton to explore free agency instead. Stay tuned.
Hutton entered the game for Pekka Rinne during the third period of Thursday's Game 7, saving the only shot that came his way in a 5-0 loss to the Sharks. Hutton saw minimal action against the Sharks, with most of his ice time stemming from a struggling Rinne. The 30-year-old poses no threat to unseat the starting netminder next season, and finishes the playoffs with one goal given up on just three shots.
Hutton stopped one of the two shots he faced in Saturday's Game 5 loss to San Jose. He replaced Pekka Rinne with three minutes left in regulation. Rinne had a rough night, giving up four goals on 27 shots, so it appeared he just wanted to take a rest instead of finishing the game. Rinne has been fantastic this series and is the clear-cut starter, so don't think Hutton has any chance of being in the cage for Game 6 on Monday. He posted a .918 save percentage in the regular season, though, making him a capable backup who can be called upon when needed.
Last 7 Games
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