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Maple Leafs Bring Back Michael Hutchinson

The Toronto Maple Leafs have brought goaltender Michael Hutchinson back to the organization. Why?

Michael Hutchinson Avalanche Maple Leafs
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have brought someone familiar with the organization back into the fold. On Friday, it was reported the team has inked another goaltender, signing netminder Michael Hutchinson to a two-year, two-way contract. If he plays in the NHL, the deal is worth $725K per season.

Related: Frederik Andersen Could Be a Fixture on Trade Block This Coming Season

While a good chunk of Leafs Nation hasn’t exactly taken kindly to this signing, some are arguing that it’s being done for NHL expansion purposes and others are suggesting there’s nothing wrong with this deal simply because having depth is a good thing. It can be argued the team now has four capable goalies to play at the NHL level. Half of those goalies will play in the AHL on a more regular basis.

The reason some aren’t fans is because Hutchinson struggled during his last with the Maple Leafs. Now 30, he posted an .886 save percentage in 15 appearances, going 4-9-1, a record which got him traded to the Colorado Avalanche. But, when he was playing for the Avs during the postseason, he played much better.

What Are the Chances He Actually Plays?

Hutchinson will join the Maple Leafs as the fourth-string goaltender. He’ll slot in behind Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell, and newcomer Aaron Dell. He’s not terribly likely to play unless a few things happen.

Hutchinson-Avalanche
Hutchinson-Avalanche

Should Dell be claimed on waivers at any point the Maple Leafs would like to assign him, the Leafs aren’t stuck without a third-string option. So too, should the Leafs decided to leave Andersen unprotected/unsigned during the expansion draft (he’ll be a free agent), they can protect Campbell and that leaves the team having filled its obligation to have a goaltender exposed. All teams need to expose at least one goaltender that is signed through the 2021-22 season. Neither Andersen nor Dell met those requirements.

In the end, chances Hutchinson does more than play in the AHL is pretty slim.

Next: Clear the Track Leafs Nation, Wayne Simmonds is Back Home

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