In this edition of NHL Quick Hits, I’ll answer a few questions about NHL News. Specifically, why did the Toronto Maple Leafs Carter Hutton retire? What’s the news about Johnny Gaudreau signing a long-term deal with the Calgary Flames? Finally, what award did the Montreal Canadiens’ draft choice Kaiden Guhle win?
Quick Hit One: Maple Leafs’ Goalie Carter Hutton Is Retiring
Although Carter Hutton never played a minute with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was a member of the Maple Leafs’ organization because he was traded to Toronto in February 2022 from the Arizona Coyotes for future considerations. It’s clear now that Hutton will never play with the Maple Leafs, because he announced his retirement.
Hutton, who’s from Thunder Bay, Ontario, told the local Chronicle Journal,
“Honestly, I’ve been preparing myself for hockey to be over in some aspect for a while. The NHL has evolved into a young man’s league. The average age in the league is now in the early 20s, so I knew that this job wouldn’t be a lifelong one for me. Ultimately, I suffered an ankle injury in early 2021, which made the decision a lot easier for me. It restricted a lot of the mobility I needed to be as effective as I once was. This, compiled with a few other things, helped me decide on retirement.” (from “Hutton retires from the NHL, Tom Annelin, Chronicle Journal, 14/06/2022).
Hutton, who claims to be old for the NHL but in reality is only 36 years old in real years, played in 235 games over 10 NHL seasons, while posting a mark of 94-90-27, with a 2.76 goals-against average, and a .908 save percentage.
Quick Hit Two: Has Johnny Gaudreau Signed a Long-Term Deal or Not?
Despite reports to the contrary, with a month left before free agency begins, it looks like Calgary Flames’ forward Johnny Gaudreau really will take advantage of free agency to test his value on the open market on July 13. Lewis Gross, Gaudreau’s agent, absolutely denied any rumors that his star client had already agreed to sign a long-term deal with the Flames.
Specifically, Gross claimed, “There is no truth to it.”
Gaudreau, who’ll be 29 next month, had a career season by scoring 40 goals and adding a whopping 75 assists (for 115 points) in 82 games. Gaudreau also scored three goals and added 11 assists (for 14 points) in 12 playoff games. He likely could not have picked a better time to do it — just prior to a new contract.
That strong season and the fact that Gaudreau is heading into his prime years as a player will likely translate into a high-valued contract for the New Jersey native. He finished his six-year, $40.5 million contract with a big bang. We’ll see whether the rumors are accurate or if Gross is just priming the pump for his client’s future contract.
Quick Hit Three: Canadiens Look Like They Picked a Winner in Kaiden Guhle
Kaiden Guhle was picked by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round (16th overall) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. It certainly seems like they choose wisely. Just yesterday, Guhle was named the MVP of the WHL playoffs after he helped lead the Edmonton Oil Kings to the 2022 Memorial Cup.
In his his second WHL championship series, Guhle scored eight goals and added eight assists (for 16 points) in 19 games. The 20-year-old Ednonton Native looks like he’ll have a great NHL career. Obviously, there’s more to come.
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