The 26-year old defenseman who joined the Canes last summer 28 games with assorted injuries, and played in 36 regular season games. The League requires a player appear in 41 regular season games with the team for their name to be etched on the Cup. He did not appear in any Stanley Cup Finals games, which is the other criterion.
Hutchinson notched 11 points (3/8) in limited (mostly power-play) action, but proved to be a hard worker who shows a ton of potential.
The other news about Hutchinson is the story surrounding the number 24. Hutchinson wore that number with the Canes last season. This summer, the Canes acquired right wing Scott Walker from the Nashville Predators. Walker has always worn 24, and there was all sorts of speculation about what would happen when he arrived. When camp opened, it was revealed that Hutch would switch to 28, letting Walker have 24. Many folks assumed that Walker paid Hutch for the number, or that they worked out some arrangement. According to News & Observer writer Luke Decock, it was really simple:
When Scott Walker arrived from the Nashville Predators, in a July trade for Josef Vasicek, he inquired if Andrew Hutchinson was willing to part with the No. 24 jersey.
Willing? Hutchinson couldn't get rid of it fast enough.
"He said it was no big deal, but it was no big deal for me," said Hutchinson, who switched to No. 28. "I was hurt for three or four months anyway. It didn't bring me any luck."
Full story here
In other related news, the Canes also successfully petitioned to have defenseman Anton Babchuk's name etched on the Cup. The 22-year old played in 22 games for the Canes after a January trade with the Blackhawks. In all, the former first round draft pick (21st overall in the 2002 draft) played in 39 NHL games during the 2005-06 season. He didn't appear in any SCF games. Although he's a little unproven as a defenseman, he's a big, big guy and loves to hit things. He's also got a ton of offensive upside. The thing that EVERYONE talks about when they see this kid play is his slapshot. His shot is so hard (heavy, fast, whatever) that it makes your skin go all goose-fleshed. As a power-play quarterback, this is a very good asset. Provided, of course, that it's reasonably accurate.
Babs and Hutch will both be asked to step up their play due to the blueline injuries. I hope they're able to answer the bell.