Just before the midway point in the season, the Florida Panthers traded goaltender Michael Hutchinson for a draft pick.
After last night’s lackluster performance against the Montreal Canadiens, GM Dale Tallon announced that goaltender Michael Hutchinson has been sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round draft pick.
Michael Hutchinson, who is currently 28-years-old, has featured in four games with the Florida Panthers in 2018-19, posting a 4.17 GAA and a .839 SV% during his time in the big leagues.
For the Panthers, this trade gets them something for a goaltender who was likely not going to stay past this year. While on the other hand, the Leafs gain a serviceable, AHL-quality netminder for at least the remainder of the season.
It’s also worth mentioning that Hutchinson is no stranger to AHL play as he’s suited up for clubs like the Providence Bruins, St. John’s IceCaps, Manitoba Moose, and the Panthers’ farm team, the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Back in 2014, Hutchinson was a big part in leading the IceCaps to the Calder Cup Finals, ultimately winning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy, which is given out to the most valuable player in the playoffs.
Hutchinson concluded the 2014 AHL playoffs with a 12-9 record, .938 SV%, 1.95 GAA, as well as three shutouts.
Additionally, during his time with the Manitoba Moose, Hutchinson took part in the 2018 AHL All-Star Game and was nominated to the 2017-18 AHL Second All-Star Team in a year which saw him record a .935 SV%, 2.08 GAA, and 17-5-4 record in 26 games played.
In the minors with the Springfield Thunderbirds this season, Hutchinson has suited up in eight games, tallying below his career average mark in save percentage (.906) and goals against average (3.33).
Now with Hutchinson out of the picture, it’s Samuel Montembeault’s crease in Springfield. The 22-year-old from Arthabaska, Quebec, will have all eyes surrounding him as he’s turned to as the potential goalie of the future.
With Roberto Luongo just months away from turning forty, the search for his replacement has now officially begun. All stock and trust have been placed on Montembeault to develop into that No. 1 starter that Florida has hoped for since the day they drafted him.