While we’re in the midst of Michael Hutchinson regaining his ground as an NHL goaltender — Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs are still in the hunt for a backup, or so it seems.
Just recently, news has came out about the Toronto Maple Leafs checking in on Alexander Georgiev and the New York Rangers. It’s said that the Rangers value Georgiev too much to accept Andreas Johnsson, basically one-for-one.
But it’s more than that; Kasperi Kapanen wouldn’t even get the deal done, according to Darren Dreger.
The ship has sailed — goodbye Georgiev. It was nice while it lasted. Until we meet again, when you play like a god against my favourite team.
Here’s the thing: I don’t think the Toronto Maple Leafs need a new backup goaltender, yet.
There, I said it.
Why would they need one when the Maple Leafs have a good enough goaltender, who’s already in-house, in Michael Hutchinson. In the past three games where Hutchinson has started, he’s gone 3-0-0 with a .945 save percentage.
If that’s not enough to say that he’s on the right track to becoming a solidified backup goaltender, I don’t know what will change your mind.
I’ve said it before, the Toronto Maple Leafs would love to keep Hutchinson around.
He’s a great guy, the team loves him, and they’re even starting to play better in front of him too. But if this does start to go down hill, and fast, the Toronto Maple Leafs need a backup plan.
Presenting — the goaltender you never knew of… until now.
I give you, Adin Hill!
As a 2015 third-round pick, Hill is in the final year of his entry-level contract. So far in his career, he’s been playing for the Tuscon Roadrunners, who are the Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate.
But more recently, Hill has been up with the Coyotes since Darcy Kuemper has been out with an injury. In that time frame, the 23-year-old has played in eight games, going 2-2-1 and securing a .917 save percentage in that span.
While I’m not sure whether or not the Coyotes would want to deal such a young goalie, who looks to have some upside in the future, it might be good for Dubas to at least inquire about him, like he did with Georgiev.
The Toronto Maple Leafs do want to sign a defenseman for next season, which will make them tight to the cap. And that’s when you include Hill, who you could sign for likely under $1 million.
But this is all hypothetical. It’s all whether or not Hutchinson can perform well behind the Toronto Maple Leafs. If not, they shop for a goaltender (that’s not Georgiev).
If Hutchinson does perform well though, no trades will need to be made and the man who essentially lost the backup job last year is back in it for the long haul.