It’s no secret that St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso had a large breakout season in 2021-22. Written off as a bust as he dealt with injury issues in the minors, the organization’s former goalie of the future finally exploded for a 25-win rookie season, earning a .919 save percentage and two shutouts along the way. It was good enough to win him the starting job for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but he had just a 2-5 record and a sub-.900 save percentage as Jordan Binnington reclaimed control of the crease (before his injury, at least).
Now, the 27-year-old Finn with just 53 NHL starts will be one of the top options for teams perusing the unrestricted free agent market for goalies. On The Jeff Marek Show earlier in the week, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned the possibility of the Edmonton Oilers being interested in Husso this offseason. Friedman notes that there were rumors of the Oilers making Husso a mid-season acquisition around the turn of the calendar year, also making note of the fact that the Oilers could be without Mike Smith next season, either due to retirement or long-term injury reserve. With Edmonton already losing Mikko Koskinen this offseason, the organization needs more than just promising youngster Stuart Skinner in the crease. While Smith being unavailable may still force Skinner into an NHL role next season, it prevents him from having to be “the guy” too early in his development.
- The Anaheim Ducks are entering what could be a transformative offseason under new general manager Pat Verbeek after the organization’s young talent took big steps forward in 2021-22. In a piece for The Athletic, Eric Stephens names a list of young players who the Ducks could take a flier on to add to that talent pool, including Carolina’s Martin Necas and Ethan Bear, Edmonton’s Jesse Puljujarvi, Detroit’s Filip Zadina, and Chicago’s Dominik Kubalik. All of them have been mentioned in trade rumors recently after falling down the depth charts of their respective organizations. With a lot of turnover expected in Anaheim this offseason, due in part to the retirement of captain Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim could give a chance to one of these players to excel in more important roles.
- Continuing their run of front office announcements, the Pittsburgh Penguins today named Teena Murray as their senior vice president of integrated performance. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Mike DeFabo notes, Murray will oversee the strength and conditioning staff, rehabilitation, sports science, and medical staff, reporting directly to general manager Ron Hextall. Considering Pittsburgh’s long history of injury-prone seasons, it’s an important role to fill for this team.