Hutton spent last season with the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that solidified its goaltending this summer by signing Corey Crawford to a multi-year contract and bringing in veteran Nikolai Khabibulin to be the backup. Unfortunately for him, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native was the odd man out.
But Hutton, 27, never envisioned himself being the guy in Nashville these days. Not with Pekka Rinne firmly entrenched in the Predators' crease. But with Rinne's recent hip infection and consequential surgery that has sidelined Nashville's No. 1 goaltender for a minimum of four weeks, Hutton has been thrust into the starting role.
"You never want it to happen like this, especially to a guy like Pekka," said Hutton, who will make his third start and fourth appearance for Nashville on Saturday when the Predators host the St. Louis Blues. "He's been a really good friend to me since I've been here. Kind of took me under his wing. You don't wish that on anybody, but opportunities come in weird ways. That's why they brought me here. They thought they had faith in me and I believe in myself. When you get the chance, no matter how it comes, whether it was one start every 10 games or now playing a bunch, you've got to be ready for it and just take advantage of it."