The Toronto Maple Leafs have sent goaltender Michael Hutchinson to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Calle Rosen.
Hutchinson Era Over in Toronto
The Ontario-born Hutchinson was a lightning rod for criticism in his second campaign for the Maple Leafs and failed to provide adequate support for starter Frederick Anderson (although he was arguably misused by former head coach Mike Babcock.)
The 29-year-old goaltender lost his first six starts of 2019-20 and allowed four-plus goals in all of those starts. Although he fared a bit better under Sheldon Keefe after Babcock’s firing in November, his numbers this season were subpar: a 4-9-1 record, 3.66 Goals Against Average, and .866 Save Percentage.
After the Maple Leafs shored up their back up situation by acquiring Jack Campbell from the Los Angeles Kings earlier this month, Hutchinson became expendable and was placed on waivers.
In 102 games played and 87 games started over seven NHL seasons between the Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers and Maple Leafs, Hutchinson possesses a 43-39-11 record, 2.65 GAA, and .910 SV%.
Hutchinson a Stop-Gap Solution for Avalanche
Hutchinson will join an Avalanche squad needing a goalie as Philipp Grubauer was injured on Feb. 17’s Stadium Series game and there is no timetable for his return. 24-year-old Hunter Miska — who has played just one NHL game — has been acting Pavel Francouz’s backup since. The Avalanche sit second in the Central Division with a 38-18-7 record.
Hutchinson will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1.
Familiar Face Rosen Joins a Maple Leafs During Free Fall
Rosen, 26, is a known commodity to the Maple Leafs: after signing a two-year entry-level contract in 2017, the left-handed Swede played eight games for the Maple Leafs between 2017 and 2019 and 116 more for the Toronto Marlies.
He was then part of the July 2019 trade that sent Nazem Kadri to the Avalanche and he played eight games for the team this season, tallying two assists.
Rosen will be a depth D option for the Leafs down the stretch; Maple Leafs’ The Athletic reporter Jonas Siegel reports Rosen is under contract for next season with a $750,000 cap hit. Their back end has struggled this season and have allowed the seventh-most five-on-five high-danger scoring chances in the NHL.
Despite their wealth of offensively adept players, the Maple Leafs sit third in the Atlantic Division and have suffered two embarrassing losses in the past week. Angst in Leafs-land is perhaps at an all-time high due to their 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday and the fact they only fired 10 shots on 42-year-old emergency backup goaltender David Ayres, who became a viral sensation for beating the team he works for.
Flyers Continue to Add By Acquiring Grant
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers continue to acquire forward depth, picking up centre Derek Grant from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Kyle Criscuolo and a 2020 fourth-round pick. They snagged Nate Thompson from the Montreal Canadiens earlier today.
Grant, a fourth-round 2008 pick, is a journeyman bottom-six centre who should give the Flyers more options up the middle and on the penalty kill. They sit third in the Metropolitan Division at 35-20-7.
Grant was enjoying a decent offensive campaign for the Ducks and has tallied a career-high 14 goals and six assists for 20 points in 49 games this season. In 257 career games with six different teams, the 29-year old has 28 goals and 25 assists for 53 points and has won 52.5 per cent of his face offs. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Kyle Criscuolo — who goes the other way along with a fourth-rounder for this June’s draft in Montreal — is an undrafted forward who’s spent the entirety of this season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The undersized 27-year-old has nine NHL games under his belt — all with the Buffalo Sabres in 2017-18 — but no big-league points. Prior to turning pro in 2015-16, he played for four seasons at Harvard University.