The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that they have signed goaltender Michael Hutchinson to a two-year, $1.450 million contract. The contract has an AAV of $725,000. The deal carries Hutchinson through the 2021-22 season. The 30-year-old had an uneven season last year but finished strong and secured another job.
🖋️ We’ve signed Michael Hutchinson to a two-year contract. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 30, 2020
Michael Hutchinson Signs With Leafs
Hutchinson’s 2019-20 season can really be divided into two unequal halves. It began with the Toronto Maples Leafs but went very poorly for the veteran. He appeared in 15 games with a putrid .886 save percentage and 3.66 goals-against-average. It was so bad that Toronto put him through the waiver process and transferred him to its AHL affiliate. That was actually a good thing as Hutchinson then posted a .943 save percentage and 1.98 goals-against in four games. The production at the lower level was good enough to interest the Colorado Avalanche, who flipped defender Calle Rosen back to the Leafs in exchange for an experienced third goaltender.
That is when Hutchinson’s season turned around. He won his only regular-season start, allowing one goal on 18 shots against the Detroit Red Wings. Hutch then became Colorado’s starter in the playoffs when both of their starting goalies got hurt. The former third-round selection from 2008 nearly pushed the Avalanche into the Stanley Cup Finals with a .910 save percentage and 2.75 goals-against in four games. It’s that sort of production his new team wants to see moving into the coming year.
What This Means for the Future
Hutchinson is likely going to be the team’s third goaltender to start 2020-21 but he might be the primary backup at some point. He has plenty of experience with over 107 starts. Most of that did come years ago with the Winnipeg Jets but Hutchinson has been around the league long enough to maintain some skills. His time with the Avs showed that he can be more than fine in the net but he needs a competent and energetic defence to help out.