Hutchinson signing official

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July 09, 2008

Hutchinson signing official

The Lightning announced it has signed defenseman Andrew Hutchinson to a two-year deal for $500,000 each season.

Hutchinson Here is part of the team's announcement:

“Andrew had a great season in the AHL last year,” vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said. “He brings a good amount of experience and some offensive spark to our blue line.”

Hutchinson, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, played in 67 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League last season while serving as the team’s captain. He recorded 18 goals, 64 points and 13 power-play goals, leading all Wolf Pack defensemen in those categories. He ranked second on the team in assists (46), plus/minus (+28) and power-play goals, third in points and was tied for fifth in goals. He led all AHL defensemen in points and assists, and also ranked third in goals.

Hutchinson was named the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s most outstanding defenseman. He set franchise defenseman records for goals and points in a season and tied the mark for assists. He also became the first Wolf Pack defenseman to record a hat trick on February 8 and had the first five-point game by a Hartford defenseman February 29. Hutchinson also had two goals and four points in five postseason games with Hartford.

A native of Evanston , Illinois , Hutchinson has appeared in 95 career NHL games with Carolina and Nashville . He has accumulated 10 goals, 33 points and six power-play goals. In 2006-07 he led all Carolina defensemen in power-play points with eight and power-play assists with six. He was tied for third among Hurricanes defensemen in scoring with 14 points. Hutchinson made his NHL debut on October 18, 2003 with Nashville. He was a member of Carolina ’s 2006 Stanley Cup Championship team.
Hutchinson, 28, has played in 257 career AHL games, recording 49 goals and 160 points. He represented the PlanetUSA All-Stars in the 2004 AHL All-Star Game and helped the Milwaukee Admirals to the Calder Cup Championship that same year.

A product of the United States National Team Development Program, Hutchinson played four seasons at Michigan State , totaling 19 goals and 78 points in 159 career games. He was named a second-team All-American following his senior season in 2001-02. In 2000-01 he was named the CCHA’s best defenseman and was a CCHA Second Team All-Conference selection.

He represented the United States in the 2007 World Championships and recorded three goals with four points in seven games during the tournament.

Hutchinson was drafted by Nashville in the second round, 54 th overall, in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by Carolina on June 29, 2005 in exchange for a third-round pick in 2005 and was then acquired by the Rangers on July 17, 2007 with center Joe Barnes and a third-round pick in 2008 in exchange for Matt Cullen.

[Dirk Shadd, Times files]


Hutchinson brings some offensive skills with him as a late additon to the roster, but the salient and unanswered question remains: which defensemen do you turn to in those grind-'em-out, low scoring games when you are having difficulty getting shots on goal and you're trying to protect a one goal lead? Kuba and Ranger can play strong, disciplined defense, but can the Lightning find a second pair on the bench?

If your answer to this question is the same as mine, you have found the problem that has been heretofore overlooked by the shakers and movers who are reconstituting this team.

TB is going to play Ranger and Kuba about 25-30 per game and the rest of the blue-liners get about 5-8min each?

I hope this is not what we see at the start of the season.

The Turtle as always speaks with great wisdom. I'm hopeful that Hutchinson is ready to step up his game and be a regular in the NHL. Like you and Tackleberry, I too would like to see a veteran stay at home defenseman to log some serious minutes and mentor the young d.

I would agree with this signing if it was a two-way deal. Hutchinson is an offensive defenseman and the lightning have enough offensive defeneman to run the powerplay.(Carle, Ranger, Kuba, and maybe even Niskala) So I would think the lightning would rather go after a though stay at home defenseman. Maybe the Lightning will realize this and go after someone like Marek Malik who is still available. Or they might give Matt Smaby or Vladimir Mihalik a chance to step up.

If I remember right Hutchinson's deal is 2 way forthe 1st year and 1 wat the second year. I may be wrong but I think that is what was initially rep[orted. I have my fingers crossed that we still can deal for a tough, veteran stay at home defenseman that can play in the top 4.

You know, I've thought long and hard about our defensive problems (not really.) And I've been blessed with this great wisdom.


Look, defense is a safety precaution, and shows lack of confidence in your offensive skills.

Melrose and the guys in the front office aren't nuts their-



Maybe we can pull our goalies at ALL times in favor of a sixth man to play back up.


It'll be a sixth man rush at ALL TIMES! (Pumping fist in air at the beauty of my wisdom)


This is brilliant.

Jacques Demers actually did something like that Max, though not at the NHL level, to shake his team up. He pulled the goalie and played 6 on 5 for a significant period of time. As I recall he said they scored 5 and the other team 6 during that long pull of the goalie. At least this is what I remember him saying in an interview.

*LOL* Leave it to my sarcasm to be found as an actual NHL coaching technique (okay so it was done in the minors by an NHL coach.) But it WAS done! *L*

I'd love to see the look on those players faces too. I bet the look was described as the "Oh S***!" look. *LOL* But I bet they worked extra-extra hard.

Well we've accumulated quite a pile of defensemen now too. Maybe they're planning on letting them duke it out during camp to see who makes the squad.

We may have a number of D-men but D-men taker longer to develope in the NHL than any other position. You can never have enough it seems, because so many go down to injury. Even when Cory Sarich was here it seemed we lost him right as he was peeking as pro...the same with Kubina. The same will be with Ranger I imagine too. We break them in and the other teams benefit from our trial and error. Its been a trend with this team that needs to stop.

In general hockey speak it takes 4 - 5 years for a "d" man to come full circle..... Who have that time into the game? that is the question for all to answer.


Good points NtMM and Bingo. You could also add Hamrlik, Bryce Salvador and Cullimore to that list. I think that Ranger is very close. He was great in the first half and then hurt his shoulder in Jan or Feb, I hope his rehab is going well. We could be surprised by their performance this year, especially knowing they're going to have to bring their A game just to make the club. If they continue to develop, we could be quite formidable in 2 years. The hope for this year should just be to make the playoffs and challenge for the SE crown. That would give us something to build on.

I say its a good pickup, he appears to have some talent from his youth record, maybe the Bolts are the right fit so he can get back to that.

Hell, bring Kubina back now that he's available...we did win a Cup with him anchoring the blue line. Certainly can't demand Boyle-like money...

Kubina is under contract with Toranna ( as my friend Leo like to call them ) at $5mil per. However frustrations are rising in Leafland as it seems Mcabe has refused to waive his NMC ( no movement clause stronger than a No trade as the club cannot put him on waivers either )such that Kuba at $5mil per may be the next likely victim. If they do waive him ( and we would have 1st dibs as the #30 team ) we could claim him and only pay half his salary $2.5mil with the leafs paying the rest. That might be workable and it is these types of situations that the Lightning Brass are watching closely. I think the may be waiting to see if Schneider is waiver first since the Ducks have had no takers on his huge deal.

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