The Buffalo Sabres have decided that goaltending is an area of need after letting Robin Lehner walk in free agency, and are expected to sign Carter Hutton to a three-year contract. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet also reports that the team will sign Scott Wedgewood, giving them a third option behind Hutton and Linus Ullmark. Hutton is expected to command a cap hit just under $3MM per season, while Wedgewood is on a two-way deal.
Hutton, 32, is arguably the best goaltending option on the open market after another excellent season in St. Louis. The veteran netminder has plenty of experience pushing young goaltenders and supporting them when they invariably face inconsistency, and he’ll be asked to do much of the same with Ullmark in Buffalo. After posting a .931 save percentage in 32 appearances last year though, Hutton will also be asked to help lead the Sabres back into playoff contention. After finishing at the bottom of the standings once again, Buffalo will be bringing in young phenom Rasmus Dahlin on the blue line and have already acquired some help up front in Conor Sheary. Now with a solidified goaltending situation, the team is poised to find much more success in 2017-18.
Wedgewood on the other hand will be asked to fill a different role for the organization. GM Jason Botterill has been very clear that he intends on building a winning organization from top to bottom, and that includes the Rochester Americans of the AHL. Wedgewood is an extremely capable minor league goaltender, who should fill Ullmark’s shoes admirably going forward.