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CONFIRMED: Predators re-sign goaltender Carter Hutton

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Jun 2, 2014


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UPDATE: The Predators officially release the news of the signing, included numbers of the deal. You can see the full details of the press release at the bottom.

Just moments ago, a source close to the Predators organization alerted us here at The Predatorial that Nashville would be re-signing goaltender Carter Hutton later today.

Hutton was signed in the off-season last year to a one-year, $550,000 deal with the Predators. Originally thought to be an occasional back-up for Pekka Rinne throughout the year, Hutton was thrust into the starting role after Rinne was sidelined with a bacterial infection on October 24th. Establishing a 7-7-2 in his first 16 starts, Hutton was called out by former head coach Barry Trotz after a late goal gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 win on January 5th.

“You have to save those. That wasn’t much of a shot at all,” Trotz said after Nashville’s 2-1 loss to Carolina. “That’s not good enough for this league. He wasn’t strong at all.”

Hutton, however, strongly rebounded after that quote, going 13-4-2 in his final 19 starts of the season to finish the year with a 20-11-4 record, along with one shutout.

While save percentage and goals-against-average were not anything noteworthy (0.910% and 2.62 respectively), Hutton’s confidence grew as the season progressed. It didn’t hurt that ten days after Hutton’s late-game trouble against the Hurricanes, the Predators traded for veteran Devan Dubnyk to help share the load for the Predators and potentially usurp Hutton’s starting goaltender spot. Although Dubnyk never worked out for Nashville, it seemingly forced Hutton to immediately improve his game and show Nashville’s management that it hadn’t made a mistake signing him.

With Rinne apparently back to 100%, guiding Finland to a silver medal in this year’s IIHF World Championship just weeks ago, the issue of Carter Hutton was an interesting dilemma for the Predators going into this season’s free agency class.

Coupled with the possible non-return of goaltending coach Mitch Korn, who was easily one of the chief factors of Hutton’s in-season development this year, it’s fair to speculate whether or not Hutton is the right man to back up Pekka Rinne in what is a very important upcoming season for the Nashville Predators.

Yet, with the potential re-signing of Hutton later today, it looks like Nashville has their man to backup Rinne in 2014-2015, and possibly beyond.

Press release per the Nashville Predators PR department:

Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed goaltender Carter Hutton to a two-year, $1.45 million contract. He will make $700,000 in 2014-15 and $750,000 in 2015-16.

Hutton, 28 (12/19/85), spent his first full season at the NHL level in 2013-14. After starting the season with just one game of NHL experience, he finished the season as the sixth 20-game winner in franchise history, posting a 20-11-4 record to go along with a 2.62 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and a shutout. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native went 13-4-2 in his final 19 decisions of the season, which included a personal five-game winning streak to close out the campaign; he had a 1.77 goals-against average, .940 save percentage and a shutout in those five contests. Hutton also posted a 6-0-1 record when facing at least 35 shots in 2013-14.

Never drafted, Hutton spent time with Adirondack, Worcester and Rockford of the American Hockey League and Toledo of the ECHL from 2010-13 before making his NHL debut on April 27, 2013 with Chicago. The 6-1, 195-pound netminder played four seasons at UMass-Lowell (Hockey East) from 2006-10, ending his collegiate career as the school’s all-time leader in goals-against average (2.33), save percentage (.913) and shutouts (10). He is on Twitter @CarterHutton.”

Photo Credit: Kristen Jerkins