Examining The Blackhawks Organizational Depth Between The Pipes

A great deal has been said about the performance of the two guys that played the goaltender position for the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2011-12 season. But they have made a number of moves to improve the organization’s depth at the position, with Thursday’s signing of Mac Carruth being the latest.

Here’s a look at the organization’s depth at the position heading into the 2012-13 season.

Carter Hutton
Age: 26 (Dec. 29, 1985)
Contract Status: RFA

Hutton finished last year as the top guy on the IceHogs’ depth chart after starting the year as a free agent with Toledo. In 43 games with Rockford, he went 22-13-4 with a .917 save percentage and three shutouts. He is a restricted free agent this summer after signing a one-year deal with the Blackhawks on Feb. 24, and he was recalled in late March as an emergency back-up.

Alexander Salak
Age: 25 (Jan. 5, 1987)
Contract Status: Signed thru 2012-13 (one-way, $612,500 cap hit)

Salak was a disappointment last year, missing a significant amount of time because of injury and not playing overwhelmingly well for extended stretches when he was on the ice. In 21 total games with Rockford, Salak was 6-10-0 with a .903 save percentage.

Alec Richards
Age: 24 (June 29, 1987)
Contract Status: Signed thru 2012-13 (two-way, $525,000 cap hit)

Richards split last year between Toledo (ECHL) and Rockford. With the Walleye, he was 8-12-1 with an .887 save percentage in 21 games. With Rockford, Richards was 7-11-2 with an .893 save percentage in 23 games.

Mac Carruth
Age: 20 (March 25, 1992)
Contract Status: Signed three-year entry-level deal 5/24/12

Carruth was one of the better goaltenders in the WHL this year, posting a strong 42-17-2 record this season with a .904 save percentage and two shutouts for the Portland Winterhawks. He signed his entry-level deal on Thursday, according to reports.

Kent Simpson
Ave: 20 (March 26, 1992)
Contract Status: unsigned

Simpson, a second round pick (58th overall) in 2010, spent this year with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. In 60 games, he was 20-31-7 with a .909 save percentage. He did get one game in with Rockford, and suffered an overtime loss (3 goals against 41 shots).

The Blackhawks also have a seventh round pick from 2011, Johan Mattson, in the ranks. He had a decent season with Sudbury of the OHL (23-11-3, .910).

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4 Responses to Examining The Blackhawks Organizational Depth Between The Pipes

  1. Brad Stevenson says:

    To be honest, I am not sure why more people aren’t seeing this area as a strength…these kids are mostly big bodies, who all move quite well, they have great attitudes and are very coachable…

    Salak looked NHL ready out of training camp and out played Ray Emery…he got demoted to Rockford because the Hawks didn’t TRUST him, not like they could trust Emery, and they were probably right to do so…but Salak sulked in Rockford and then he got hurt. When he got back, and Hutton was on fire, Salak grew up in a hurry and started to play well. He is still a strong NHL prospect, and should be given a shot in the big camp this summer, again.

    Carter Hutton is not without a few flaws, but anyone who thinks that he is not the real deal is mistaken. Hutton has a lot of intangibles that make him a great prospect, not discounting his desire to prove others wrong. He is a very strong prospect. I don’t care what league you play in, when you have a .917 Save % on a sub .500 hockey team, you are an outstanding goalie.

    Richards hasn’t really impressed, but he is getting more consistent and has the ability. Carruth and Simpson are both outstanding junior goalies, they have the size, and the coachability to become very good. Even Mattson looks good.

    So without stating that this is the strong point of our prospect system, which it is not, this is hardly a weakness. There is very strong talent lining up to push Crawford to perform better, and that will only benefit the Hawks.

  2. Lenert says:

    Good comment Brad. I had a chance to see Hutton in action only three times…each was stronger than the first. I think the young man has a solid future and should at least be signed for another year (two way). Some of his numbers are club records… though that can be open for interpretation (AHL /EcHL) is often hard to define…consistent competition.
    -On a tangent…Can anyone lend a thought as to LTIR / Over 35 / Cap Hits? My question stems two fold…
    -Pronger / PHI – If he’s out and or retires 35+…does Philly still take the cap hit or can they pawn him off on LTIR? Philly has some real cap problems. Briere is up for grabs…
    -Hossa – we have all seen the unfortunate cumulative effect of concussion in sport…Ie.. Jeremy Morin out for 10 months…Ben Smith, still not the same. Marc Savard, Sidney Crosby, Eric Lindros, and I was there for Michel Goulet’s last game…Having said that, Hoss might be a real issue, so begs the question of LTIR?

  3. Mike says:

    Not here to defend or merit Crawford, Emery or the prospects. The fact is regardless of the number of shots on goal, teams had tons of great chances against us. Same in Rockford. For 2 years now Hawks have overextended Kieth, Seabrook and Leddy. Really shows with Leddy. He was drained by years end. Hawks MUST address their defense. I hope they do so this summer.

  4. wall says:

    Right on Brad… especially w/ 1 st 2 points… Salak did look great in Camp… then sulked…

    To add… I have been to several open practices… late in the year Emery was HORRIBLE in practice!!! Wouldn’t mind seeing Salak get a chance or Hutton.

    Lenert, I asked same question because I see potential big problems if Hoss can’t recover.
    Someone answered by saying that because Pronger is +35… philly has to eat that money… if that is the case… I assume Hawks are ok cuz Hoss is under that age????
    I hope Tab or someone can clear that up…

    I really Hope that Bowman and company are hoping for best but PLANNING for the worst in regards to Hoss!

    Doan and Smith should be castrated for their comments on Brown’s hit…
    What planet were they on when Torres broke every rule in the book????

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