By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Hutton, 32, has never started more than 40 games in a season. But he posted career-best numbers with the Blues in 2017-18, going 17-7-3 with a 2.09 goals against average and a .931 save percentage (both career-highs) in 32 games. He has local ties, having played college hockey at UMass-Lowell and in the AHL for the Worcester Sharks, who have since relocated to San Jose as the San Jose Barracuda.
The Bruins remain in the market for a backup goalie this offseason, among other key needs. They’re still interested in re-signing Anton Khudobin, who went 16-6-7 with a 2.56 GAA and .913 save percentage, and he’s still interested in returning. Other potential UFA options include Petr Mrazek, who didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Flyers, as well as Jonathan Bernier and former Bruins Chad Johnson.
Hutton is coming off the best season of his career, so he’s likely to cost a lot more than Khudobin (especially in terms of years) as an unrestricted free agent. Hutton has reportedly heard from eight teams, including the Blues, with the Red Wings and Hurricanes also in that group. The indication is that he seeks a deal for three or more years, which may ultimately be too much of a commitment for the Bruins.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney is likely just doing his due diligence as he looks at the entirety of the market, with an eye toward retaining Khudobin instead of paying top-of-the-market value for Tuukka Rask’s backup. In the system, Zane McIntyre and Daniel Vladar remain their only feasible options in goal.
Since the aforementioned two are probably still not ready for the NHL, the expectation should still be that Khudobin returns for at least one more season. But he’s likely to field interest from other teams as well, so maybe even he prices himself out. We’ll see.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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