In search of a number one goaltender, the New York Islanders have reached out to the best free agent on the market
While John Tavares in Los Angeles, California, taking pitches from other teams, the New York Islanders have reportedly made a pitch of their own to St. Louis Blues goaltender Carter Hutton.
Like Tavares, Hutton will become a free agent on July 1 if an extension between him and his team cannot be worked out.
Of the eight teams, Lebrun thinks that Hutton has already eliminated two of them and put the other six into two groups. One group is composed of teams offering him a starting role and the other a backup job, a position he has held for his entire career.
Hutton is 32-years-old and just completed his fifth NHL season. The undrafted goaltender did play one NHL game for the Chicago Blackhawks but has spent the rest of his time in the show with the Nashville Predators and Blues.
Last season, Hutton went 17-7-3 in a career-high 32 games, 26 of which he started. Hutton’s 2.09 GAA and .931 save percentage led the League. He also posted three shutouts.
The Islanders’ newly-named head coach Barry Trotz was Hutton’s coach for his rookie season in Nashville. Hutton went 20-11-4 as Pekka Rinne’s backup with a 2.62 goals against average, a .910 save percentage, and one shutout.
In his career, Hutton is 63-39-17 with a 2.42 GAA, a .915 save percentage, and 11 shutouts.
The Islanders were also reportedly in on Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer but he is no longer available. Moments before the 2018 NHL Entry Draft this past weekend, Grubauer and defenseman Brooks Orpik were traded to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for the 47th overall pick in the draft. Grubauer has since signed a three-year contract extension with his new team.
Barring an unexpected trade, Hutton is the Isles best option even if it’s short-term. Linus Söderström will be at the team’s development camp this week and is expected to play for their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, next season if he doesn’t make the big club. The team also has Ilya Sorokin in the KHL and they just drafted a goaltender in the third-round of this past weekends draft, Jakub Skarek.
With that, they are also expected to lose a few netminders this summer. Jaroslav Halak just finished the final year of a four-year deal he signed with the team ahead of the 2014-15 season and Christopher Gibson who spent most his time in the organization with Bridgeport are both scheduled to become free agents on July 1. Kristers Gudlevskis has already left for the KHL.