The NHL season is winding down and teams are getting ready to play their final games of regular season this weekend. The NHL’s top team, the Chicago Blackhawks finish up their season against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night in St. Louis, Mo. and will likely have a new goaltender in net.
With Ray Emery still out with a lower body injury and Corey Crawford playing his fifth straight game on Friday night, Carter Hutton is likely to make his NHL debut on Saturday night in net for the Blackhawks. Hutton played the 2012-13 season with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League. This season, the net-minder posted a 26-22-1 record with a 2.76 goals against average and a .908 save percentage in 51 games. The 27-year-old was recalled from the AHL on Apr. 18, has not seen game action.
Hutton has been recalled from the AHL many times over his four-year professional career, but has yet to play a game at the NHL level. Prior to signing as a professional, Hutton spent four years at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Over his career with the River Hawks, he posted a 2.33 goals against average, .913 save percentage and 10 shutouts, which are all UMass Lowell records.
Hutton has spent a considerable amount of time with the Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks and will likely make his debut on Saturday night. Although he has not made his debut as of yet, not many players in the AHL and ECHL fell bad for him. He has been earning a NHL salary, living an NHL lifestyle, practicing with the best players in the world and sitting at the end of the bench as a backup goaltender, ready to enter the a NHL game whenever called upon.
The Blackhawks and Blues are set to drop the puck at 8:00 p.m. eastern time for the final regular season game.
Justin Soderberg covers Hockey East for Inside Hockey, UMass Lowell for View from 123 and various sports for Rant Sports. Follow him Twitter, ‘Like’ him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.