This might or might not be overly shocking news, but it looks like one battle at Nashville Predators training camp has already been decided–Carter Hutton, not Magnus Hellberg, will be the backup goaltender to Pekka Rinne with the Nashville Predators. For the development of Hells Bells, it does make sense, but it would be curious to think about who would get the Nashville net in a long term situation if Rinne ever went down for a significant amount of time.
As per usual this situation could change even further if Nashville G.M. David Poile decides to abandon his un-proven backup situation and sign a veteran backstop. This was Poile’s preference last season, and there are certainly plenty of options still available, like there is at just about every position. Damien Brunner, anyone?
That means for the Admirals there is decent chance that Milwaukee will start one of the best, if not the top goaltender in the AHL on most nights. If your squad is trying to make the playoffs for the 12th straight year, having Hellberg is not a bad way to go.
The Admirals certainly would have been quite the one-two punch again had Jeremy Smith stayed, got healthy and returned to his elite form. But alas Smith followed Mark Dekanich to Columbus on a two-way deal. Personally, I hope things work out better for Jeremy there than they did there for Mark. Speaking of Dekanich, he’s currently in the KHL with Medveščak Zagreb.
So Roundtable . . . Do you think Barry Trotz is acting too hastily with his backup goaltending situation? For his development, it makes sense to have Hellberg down for another season in Milwaukee, but what do you think the Predators would do if Rinne went down to injury? Are Poile/Fenton still looking for another netminder?