The Winnipeg Jets have announced the signing of goaltender Michael Hutchinson to a 2 year, $1.15 million dollar contract, which carries with it a salary cap value of $575,000 per season. Per Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun, year one of the contract is a two-way NHL/AHL contract, while year two is an NHL only (one-way) contract. Speculation abounds that the Jets will look to add another goaltender to the mix, given the flexibility they have with Hutchinson, but, even-though Hutchinson has a two-way contract, he would have to clear waivers before being sent down to St. John’s.
Hutchinson was not well known at the beginning of the season, as he started the season with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL and later on joined the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL. Impressive play in St. John’s, as well as injuries to the goaltenders in Winnipeg, saw him play in 3 games for the Winnipeg Jets towards the end of the season, posting a 2-1-0 record, a 1.64 GAA and a .943 save percentage. Hutchinson then carried that stellar play into the AHL playoffs where he was one of the primary reasons the St. John’s IceCaps won the Eastern Conference, and advanced to the Calder Cup finals. His numbers during the AHL playoffs were impressive; 12 wins, 9 losses with a 1.95 GAA and a .938 save percentage.
Hutchinson, a former 3rd round draft choice of the Boston Bruins (number 77 overall, 2008 NHL draft) was a RFA at the time that he signed his new 2 year contract with the Winnipeg Jets.
The Winnipeg Jets also announced that they have re-signed defenseman Will O’Neill to a one year, two-way contract worth $575,000 at the NHL level. O’Neill was originally a 7th round draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers in 2006.
Are you happy the Jets have re-signed Michael Hutchinson? Will Hutchinson be the Winnipeg Jets’ primary back-up goalie? If so, will he provide a suitable back-up to Ondrej Pavelec, or do you expect that Hutchinson will eventually take over the number one goaltender job from Pavelec?
Sound off in the comments!