Carter Hutton has reportedly decided to sign a deal with the Buffalo Sabres, but what can fans expect from the goaltender?
There has been speculation during the last few days, that Carter Hutton was going to choose the Buffalo Sabres as his next team. And this now appears to be the case, at least according to the latest information.
As per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Hutton is headed to Buffalo. The news was shared by Sportsnet 960 radio host Will Nault.
If true, the Sabres have done well to snag arguably the hottest goaltender on the free agent market, with at least eight teams reportedly vying for his services. And for what it’s worth, Johnston is earning a reputation as one of the top insiders within the hockey media.
Nault also adds that details of the contract are unknown at this stage. Again assuming Hutton is headed to Western New York, a two or three-year deal worth around $4 million per season would be our best bet.
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Thoughts will undoubtedly turn towards how much Hutton will be used by the Sabres next season. We assumed Linus Ullmark would get his chance to be the number one, although the latest indications are he will serve as the main backup.
This is where Hutton comes in, after enjoying the best season of his NHL career to date. This included career bests for save percentage (.931 percent), goals against average (2.09) and quality starts (19).
However, it is the last statistic that you need to pay particular attention to. Despite the success the 32-year-old has enjoyed during his six years in the NHL, he has never been the main guy.
The most starts Hutton has ever had in a season is 34, and that was back during the 2013-14 campaign. He has never shown that he has what it takes to be a bona fide number one.
After two excellent seasons with the St. Louis Blues, it’s possibly just a case of the Thunder Bay, Ontario native being a late bloomer. And there is no denying his veteran presence and leadership will be greatly received on a roster desperate for these attributes.
Overall though, we predict Hutton will essentially split the starts 50/50 with Ullmark, who is theoretically the future in Buffalo. The plan will be to give Ullmark the chance to show what he can do on a more regular basis next season, while still having the security of Hutton if (when) there are any hiccups along the way.
Assuming the report is true, are you on board with the Buffalo Sabres signing Hutton? What kind of usage are you predicting for him? Will he be the number one, go 50/50 with Ullmark or serve as the main backup? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.