28-year-old unrestricted free agent goaltender Michael Hutchinson has signed with the Florida Panthers. Financial terms of the deal have not yet been released.
Goaltender Michael Hutchinson to Florida #Panthers
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) July 1, 2018
Michael Hutchinson Sign With the Florida Panthers
Over five seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, Hutchinson started 87 NHL games, appearing in 102. The Barrie, Ontario native was 43-39-11 over that stretch with a .907 save percentage and 2.65 goals against average.
This past season with the Jets, Hutchinson lost his job as Connor Hellebuyck‘s backup goalie in place of veteran goalie Steve Mason. Because of the logjam of goalies, Hutchinson found himself playing in the AHL for the Jets affiliate the Manitoba Moose. In 26 games, Hutchinson was 17-5-1 with a .935 save percentage and a 2.08 goals against average. He also appeared in three NHL games, with a 2-1 record, a .907 save percentage and a 3.26 goals against average.
Hutchinson was originally drafted in the third round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, 77th overall by the Boston Bruins.
What This Means for The Future
The Florida Panthers already have Roberto Luongo and James Reimer under contract for next season, so Hutchinson is likely going to be back in the AHL. Hutchinson has been inconsistent during his time with the Jets, but is still young for a goaltender. While he is unlikely to ever be a full-time starter, he could prove to be a capable backup for his new club. This low-cost contract could be a good investment
For Winnipeg, they still have Hellebuyck under contract and Eric Comrie starting for the Manitoba Moose. Hellebuyck was nominated for the Vezina Trophy last season and is expected to remain the number one guy in Winnipeg.
Main Photo: October 3, 2016 – Winnipeg Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson (34) watches the puck during the Winnipeg Jets vs Ottawa Senators pre-seaosn game at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg MB. (Photo by Terry Lee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)