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.