As is the case a few times each season, the St. Louis Blues were forced to bring in an inexperienced amateur as their backup goalie for their game tonight against the Dallas Stars. The team announced that regular understudy Carter Hutton had been injured earlier today in the morning skate, suffering a lower-body condition that was serious enough that he could not dress behind Jake Allen tonight. Although they were quick to recall Ville Husso from the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage on an emergency basis, sending rookie winger Sammy Blais down in the process, the 7:00 PM flight out of south Texas was not going to be in time for puck drop of tonight’s game.
So, the Blues have turned to local goalie Tyler Stewart. Stewart signed an amateur tryout agreement with the team and took part in warm-ups tonight. The plan was for Stewart to to serve as the backup until Husso arrived from San Antonio, but even that brief experience has to be the thrill of a lifetime for the St. Louis native. Stewart was the starting goalie for St. Louis University’s ACHA Division II squad for three seasons, but never came close to having pro prospects. A chance to wear the colors of his hometown team is quite the event.
Should Hutton miss substantial time, Husso may not be the best option to backup Allen long-term. The 22-year-old has yet to see any NHL action, but did spend time in the ECHL last year, plus his AHL numbers this season have been less than spectacular. Husso was the quickest recall for the Blues, but Jordan Binnington, currently on loan to the Providence Bruins out on the east coast, is likely to be called upon as the backup instead. Binnington boasts an impeccable 1.83 GAA and .930 save percentage this season in Providence and made his NHL debut last season.