For the past two seasons, especially, Allen and Brian Elliott were both counted on to shoulder the goaltending duties, but the platoon scenario was ended when Elliott was traded to Calgary last month.
Allen recently commented on what was a positive working relationship between himself and Elliott, but seemed relieved that the leash may not be as short as it may have been in the past if he has an off night.
“It was tough to make mistakes when Brian was around because one game — you had a bad game — he was right back in the net and vice versa with him and me,” said the 25-year-old Allen, as per a video on the Blues’ website.
“I think you get a little bit more leeway, I guess, now. But not a whole lot. Carter’s a great goalie and I’ve heard a lot of great things about him.
“I feel that I had to etch myself into the league consistently. Now that I’ve done that, I still have another place to go and prove I’m a legit No. 1 guy.”
Allen just wrapped up only his second full NHL season.
The highest number of starts he’s made in a single season at the NHL level is 44 — in the 2015-16 season.
Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong said in June that Allen lost the crease, with Elliott taking it over with his strong play down the stretch and in the playoffs. He also made it clear Allen would have to battle to get it back in September. That changes to some degree now that Elliott is no longer in St. Louis.
Hutton, 30, was the back-up in Nashville, but made a career-high 34 starts in the 2013-14 season, posting a .910 save percentage.