On February 5, 2020, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a move to shore up their goaltending depth.
The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Trevor Moore, a third-round pick in 2020, and a conditional third-round pick for 2021.
With the addition of Jack Campbell (who is 2-0-1 in his first three games in Blue and White), the Leafs face the problem of Michael Hutchinson (11-4-9) – who they placed on waivers this morning.
In order for Hutchinson to be reassigned to the Toronto Marlies, he would need to clear waivers. The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost too many goaltenders to waivers, resulting in nothing in return.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Michael Hutchinson
The Leafs can’t afford to to keep a third goalie on the roster so they’re forced to gamble and try to get Hutchinson through to the Marlies.
This is a situation that has happened a few times in the last couple years.
Instead of just losing Hutchinson for nothing, it’s worth wondering if the Leafs could have swung a deal to acquire a goalie who doesn’t need to clear waivers to go to the AHL.
As the Red Wings continue to tank in the standings on their way to winning the 2020 draft lottery, many of their players become expendable. Their 24 year old AHL goaltender Eric Comrie currently holds a cap hit of $700K for the next two years (while Hutch is only on a one year contract).
With Hutchinson being placed on waivers in the time between this article being written and published, it’s not going to happen, but it would have been a creative way out of the situation.
Since the Toronto Maple Leafs have chosen to put Hutchinson on waivers, it indicates that they are pretty confident that he won’t be picked up.
While many would scoff at the idea of Hutchinson remaining important, having an NHL veteran on the AHL team in case of emergency is obviously a good idea.
And it’s not like Hutchinson has been terrible. Most of his problems came because ex-Leafs coach Mike Babcock only played in the second half of back-to-back games and didn’t give him any other chances to succeed.
Hutchinson was also rocky when called in for relief duties during games, but he’s been a perfectly fine starter while Keefe was coach, at one point winning four straight.
If Hutchinson is picked up on waivers it’s not the end of the world, but he hasn’t been as bad this year as people make him out to be and it would be preferably to maintain his services just in case they are needed.