What’s true in the NHL is that sometimes two quality goalies are too many and sometimes five is not enough. That was certainly the case in Detroit Tuesday when Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman added a sixth goalie to the mix with the addition of Michael Hutchinson.
The move was necessitated by injuries to Ville Husso and Alex Lyon. Hutchinson was in Grand Rapids because one of Yzerman’s offseason priorities was to make sure he had enough goaltending depth to take care of Detroit and Grand Rapids this season. In 2022-23, the Griffins’ goaltending was shaky until Alex Nedeljkovic got there.
Even though the Red Wings now have six goalies under contract (Husso, Lyon, James Reimer, Sebastian Cossa, John Lethemon and Hutchinson), this doesn’t limit Yzerman’s flexibility. Hutchinson, Reimer and Lethemon are on one-year deals, and Husso and Lyon are signed through the end of next season. Cossa, the organization’s top goalie prospect, is on his entry level deal.
Plus, you can’t rule out anything. Detroit’s goaltending has been average at best this season. If Yzerman felt he could upgrade his goaltending with a deal, he would do it.
Speaking of goalies, hockey insider Elliotte Friedman speculated recently that the Columbus Blue Jackets may make Elvis Merzlikins available if their season doesn’t get turned around. He would join a goalie market that includes Montreal’s Jake Allen.
EF on 32TP: “I’ve had a couple of people on Sunday say that they can see the possibility of that, that maybe both #CBJ & Merzlikins feel that it’s time for him to try somewhere else, but again, in the middle of the season that’s not an easy number for a lot of teams to absorb”
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) December 18, 2023
Red Wings In Case You Missed It
- The Red Wings say injured goalie Ville Husso will be out week to week, prompting them to sign NHL veteran goalie Michael Hutchinson. He’s been playing with the Grand Rapids Griffins on an AHL contract.
- Detroit captain Dylan Larkin said he was “embarrassed” by what happened against the Ottawa Senators. He also explained concern over the NHL standards for what’s safe on the ice and what is not. “It’s kind of scary as a player,” Larkin said.
- Paywall story: Tim Robinson details the shoulder injury that slowed Antti Tuomisto’s progress in Grand Rapids. He is now ready to show what he can do.
- Alex DeBrincat ended his goal-scoring slump and that’s a much-needed early Christmas present for the Red Wings.
Red Wings Next Game
The Red Wings are looking to end their ugly slump (1-5-1) today with a road win against the Winnipeg Jets. The Red Wings, faced with injuries to Ville Husso and Alex Lyon, signed their Grand Rapids Griffins goalie Michael Hutchinson Tuesday. But James Reimer is the likely starter against the Jets. The Red Wings are awaiting David Perron’s appeal of his six-game suspension. If Perron wins, his suspension will be reduced to five games and we will play against the Jets.
Hockey Now Network
Colorado: Evan Rawal explains how the Colorado Avalanche lost to the worst team in the NHL
New Jersey: Jack Hughes committed costly turnovers in New Jersey Devils’ OT loss to the Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia: Former Philadelphia Flyers first round pick Nolan Patrick, 22, has not retired from hockey, despite recent posts to the contrary.
Pittsburgh: Dan Kingerski wonders whether Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas has more trade magic left in him.
San Jose: Logan Couture participated in a San Jose Sharks morning skate for the first time this season.