With the Buffalo Sabres refusing to offer Robin Lehner a qualifying offer, there will be a vacancy at the goaltender position this coming season. General Manager Jason Botterill has indicated that Linus Ullmark will be up permanently from Rochester next season, so it’s likely Buffalo will be looking to sign a free agent in the coming days to compete for the starting role.
Earlier today, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun tweeted that the Sabres are looking to sign Carter Hutton for the role.
Always subject to change between now and Sunday, but at this hour on the goalie carousel, it would appear Carter Hutton is the leading option in Buffalo, Jonathan Bernier likely headed to Detroit and as we said before, Cam Ward likely to Chicago...— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 28, 2018
That is an interesting development because just a couple of days ago according to Craig Custance the cast of suitors for Hutton included the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings, with his current side the St Louis Blues likely to move on.
Blues still in the mix but would likely have to move beyond 2 years. Not sure STL willing. Red Wings, Bruins and Hurricanes also among interested. https://t.co/iyZx75Ev6D— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 24, 2018
Hutton is a popular goalie, and not just because he was the real reason the Blues got close to the playoffs last season. His overall body of work is quite decent since he came up to the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-13, before moving on to the Nashville Predators and then the Blues.
Again, there’s lots of speculation as nothing will be finalized until free agency starts on Sunday July 1st, but getting the reliable Hutton to compete with Ullmark for the starting role seems like a win-win situation for Buffalo.