The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms with goalie Michael Hutchinson on a two-year contract worth $1.15 million.
Hutchinson, 24, made three starts for the Jets in 2013-14, allowing just five goals on 88 shots for a save percentage of .943. In fact, the only game he started that Winnipeg lost was his first NHL game, a 1-0 defeat to Minnesota on Apr. 7 in which he was named second star. Then, three days later, he got his first NHL victory and was named first star in a 2-1 shootout win over Boston.
“He was outstanding,” Blake Wheeler said after the Bruins game. “He really kept us in the game. They had some point-blank opportunities to add to their lead, and he kind of put us away and he gave us an opportunity to tie the game.”
Hutchinson also put up impressive numbers in the AHL with the St. John’s IceCaps, who went all the way to the Calder Cup finals.
Per Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press, Hutchinson’s deal is a two-way contract in the first year and one way in the second.
It’s not clear if the Jets intend to sign or acquire another goalie to back up much-maligned Ondrej Pavelec next season.
Al Montoya backed up Pavelec last season, but he signed with Florida yesterday.
Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.
Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.
From the club:
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.
Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.
This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.
Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.
Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.
Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.
A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.
“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”
The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.
Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap