Hutton, the unlikely back-up to Rinne

The Nashville Predators made a surprising move in signing goaltender Carter Hutton to a one-year, two-way deal worth $550,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level. Hutton is expected to back-up star goaltender Pekka Rinne next year.

Hutton has played in only one NHL game so far, losing by giving up three goals with the Chicago Blackhawks last season. Most of the 2012-13 campaign, the 27 year old was with the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate Rockford Ice Hogs. Hutton was 6th in minutes and had 26 wins in 51 games with a .908 save percentage.

The Milwaukee Admirals saw Rockford often last season, meaning assistant GM Paul Fenton and goalie coach Mitch Korn insisted on signing him.

Justin Goldman of the Goalie Guild had a discussion with Mitch Korn about the signing.

This move is low risk, high reward. It will be interesting to see how he steps up next season and to see if he can rise to the occasion. If things go right, this could signing could turn out to be big for the Predators.

Here is the full press release sent out by the Predators.

Nashville, Tenn. (July 5, 2013) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed goaltender Carter Hutton to a one-year, two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level.

Hutton, 27 (12/19/85), appeared in one game for the 2013 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and 51 games for the AHL's Rockford IceHogs in 2012-13, posting a 26-22-1 record, a 2.72 goals-against average, a .908 save percentage and a pair of shutouts. In 2011-12, the Thunder Bay, Ont., native was named Rockford’s most valuable player after tying a team record with .917 save percentage and setting a club mark with a 2.35 goals-against average. Since turning pro at the completion of his collegiate career in 2009-10, the 6-1, 195-pound netminder has appeared in 120 games for Adirondack, Worcester and Rockford, posting a 60-44-7 record, a .902 save percentage, 2.64 goals-against average and seven shutouts.

Undrafted, Hutton starred at UMass-Lowell from 2006-10, posting a 32-41-10 record, a 2.33 goals-against average, a .904 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 85 games. He was named a Hockey East Second-Team All-Star in 2009-10 and Bauer Goaltender Champion after ranking third among NCAA goaltenders in save percentage (.928) and fourth goals-against average (2.04).

Hutton is on Twitter @CarterHutton.

(Photo by Chicago Blackhawks)