On Wednesday (Sept. 20), the Detroit Red Wings signed veterans Artem Anisimov and Michael Hutchinson to skilled tryout contracts (PTOs). The roster is already jam-packed with our bodies, so it is going to be attention-grabbing to see if one in all them can usurp one in all the different veterans on the staff and earn a contract (both to play in the NHL or the American Hockey League). With that stated, let’s check out their background, their probabilities of truly making the roster, and what they may convey to the group if signed.
Anisimov final performed in the NHL in 2020-21 with the Ottawa Senators the place he scored solely two objectives and 9 factors in 19 video games. He then returned to his native Russia in 2021-22 to affix Yaroslavi Lokomotiv in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and had a strong marketing campaign scoring eight objectives and 19 factors in 27 video games. Last season he made the trek again to North America and settled for a spot in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms the place he potted 19 objectives and 36 factors in 55 video games. His final stint in the AHL was again in 2008-09 when he blew aside the league with 37 objectives and 81 factors.
The former 2006 second-round choose of the New York Rangers has had a strong NHL profession up so far with 180 objectives and 376 factors in 771 video games. He has bounced round the league a bit taking part in for the Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks and Senators, however has been a productive piece of each lineup he’s been part of. He has solely didn’t hit double digits twice in his profession (not together with the one recreation he performed in 2008-09) and has 4 20-goal seasons beneath his belt.
Anisimov’s prime years are effectively behind him, however the indisputable fact that he put up strong numbers in the AHL final season reveals that he might nonetheless contribute if given the likelihood. The Red Wings’ ahead group doesn’t essentially have room for him, but when he can impress in coaching camp, he may earn a spot on the roster for opening night time. He will even have a well-known face to probably play with in Alex DeBrincat; he was typically his centerman in Chicago and was there when he posted his first 40-goal season. That was a very long time in the past, and I’m not suggesting he’ll play with him even when he will get a contract, but it surely’s an attention-grabbing tidbit nonetheless.
Just like the ahead group, the goaltending depth is fairly loaded to start out the season with Ville Husso and James Reimer taking the starter and backup duties in the NHL and Alex Lyon as insurance coverage in the AHL. They even have Jan Bednar, John Lethemon and high prospect Sebastian Cossa in the minors, too. Signing Hutchinson to a PTO may very well be nothing greater than competitors and filling spots in coaching camp, however contemplating Cossa’s struggles in Traverse City, it is likely to be a sign that the Red Wings need to have him beginning in the ECHL reasonably than the AHL this season. That will grow to be extra clear if Hutchinson is finally signed to both an NHL or AHL deal earlier than the season begins.
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In the meantime, Hutchinson will attempt to impress the Red Wings brass and drive them to re-think the signings of Reimer and Lyon in the offseason. It might be an uphill battle, however he has proven in the previous to be an excellent third goaltender; I wouldn’t put it previous him to have a strong coaching camp and earn a contract. Last season, he needed to play behind a really porous Blue Jackets protection and ended with a career-worst 4.21 goals-against common (GAA). He additionally solely gained two video games in his 16 appearances. I don’t foresee him making the huge membership, however a powerful displaying might produce other groups calling for his companies.
Hockey is Back in Hockeytown
We are lastly approaching the common season after a protracted offseason in Hockeytown. Hopefully, the additions basic supervisor Steve Yzerman made in the summer season will repay with a return to the playoffs. It might be a troublesome mountain to climb, however as we outlined in our divisional matchup collection on The Grind Line, the Red Wings have the depth on each offense and protection to probably make it as a wildcard staff.
Could Anisimov or Hutchinson be a part of the festivities on Oct. 12 after they journey to the Meadowlands to face Jack Hughes and the New Jersey Devils? It’s unlikely, however stranger issues have occurred. Regardless, Red Wings hockey is again and it must be an attention-grabbing season to comply with as they attempt to safe their first playoff berth since 2015-16.