The curious case of Coyotes goalie Carter Hutton got a little stranger on Monday.

One day after Arizona waived the injured veteran, he cleared waivers and everybody assumed that he would be assigned to Tucson. But the story didn’t end there. The Coyotes then traded Hutton to the Maple Leafs for future considerations.

It was surprising to see any team trade for Hutton, given his struggles this season (7.76 goals against average, .741 save percentage), his age (36) and the fact that his ankle still is not 100 percent, but the story didn’t end there either. Hutton isn’t going anywhere. He’s staying in Arizona. Per a league source, the Maple Leafs will loan Hutton back to the Tucson but still have the insurance of an extra goalie in their system.

He’ll practice and skate with the Roadrunners each week, trying to get his game and injured ankle back in order, but he will continue living in the Valley with his wife and two kids. AHL rights are different than NHL rights so the Leafs can agree to loan him to the Roadrunners. Per a source, Hutton consented to the deal with the agreement that he would not be separated from his family by going to another city.

Hutton signed a one-year deal with the Coyotes in the summer for the league minimum of $750,000, so the Coyotes have shed the prorated amount of that with 32 games remaining in the regular season.

As I noted in that previous story linked above, the hope for Hutton is to work his way back into the lineup. He hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury at Florida on Oct. 25. That injury has healed but his surgically repaired ankle is still giving him trouble in certain situations, although it is believed that he can still play if needed.

I have wondered multiple times in print and on the PHNX Coyotes show if Hutton has played his last game as a Coyote, or even as an NHL player. If he does call it a career after this season, it would be a nice reward for him to get back into a game or two and go out on his own terms.

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  • Very strange exchange. I don’t recall ever seeing a trade/loan-back. Has this ever happened before? Dubas and Armstrong are playing 3D chess and the rest of the GMs are trying to figure out where their checker boards are right now.

    • It happened a few years ago with Andrew Hammond. He was traded from the Sens to the Avs (in the Duchene trade) and kept playing for their AHL affiliate but he did end up getting called up to the Avs for the playoffs. Also happened last year with Brian Lashoff, he is the captain of the Griffins (wings farm team) and was traded to TB in that complicated David Savard salary retention trade, but stayed on Grand Rapids. I think something similar may have happened with Rusty Klesla when the Coyotes traded him while he was playing for their AHL team at the time in Portland.

  • Maybe the “future considerations” in this deal include Auston Matthews coming home when his contract with the Make Beliefs has expired?

  • […] PHNX Sports activities’ Craig Morgan reviews that there isn’t a plan to play Hutton within the NHL as of now and that he’ll spend time with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. He writes, “He’s staying in Arizona. Per a league supply”. The plan is to have the insurance coverage of an additional goalie of their system. […]

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