After Steve Mason suffered an injury at morning skate, the Winnipeg Jets have recalled Michael Hutchinson. In a corresponding move the team has sent Jamie Phillips back to the Manitoba Moose to help with their first-round AHL playoff series. Phillips had been serving as the Jets’ emergency third goaltender, but with Game 5 set for Winnipeg there was enough time to get Hutchinson.
While he’s not expected to start over Connor Hellebuyck, Hutchinson is a wonderful piece to have at the ready for this type of situation. Some may argue that he is even an upgrade over Mason should he be forced into the net, after posting an outstanding season in the AHL. Though Mason stopped all seven shots he faced in relief of Hellebuyck earlier in the series, he had a very inconsistent season filled with injury. His .906 save percentage in just twelve appearances marks his worst season since 2011-12.
Hutchinson is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, meaning he’d likely jump at any opportunity to prove himself in the playoffs for the Jets. The 28-year old goaltender put up a .935 save percentage in the minors this year, and could be an option for a team looking to improve their backup situation next year.