For the first four years of his professional career, it looked like Carter Hutton was doomed to the minors. During a three-year span, Hutton was called-up from the minors and appeared as a backup for a handful of games; first for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2009-10, then the San Jose Sharks in 2010-11 and then the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011-12. But Hutton never actually played in any of those games.
The same seemed destined to happen in 2012-13, when the Blackhawks called up Hutton a few times during the lockout-shortened season to ride the pine. Finally, in their last regular season game of 2012-13, the Blackhawks started Hutton in his first NHL game — a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues. After that, he grew into a dependable backup netminder; first for the Nashville Predators, and then last season for the Blues.
During two of his years in the minors, Hutton had two trading cards that used the exact same photo — which was weird because they were cards for different teams.
Hutton signed as a free agent with the Sharks in 2010, and was assigned to their AHL team, the Worcester Sharks. Hutton appears in the 2010-11 Worcester Sharks team set, clad in a black Sharks jersey and ready to face the opposition.
The next season, Hutton signed a minor league deal with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL. Rockford had Hutton pegged as their third-string goalie, and even demoted him to the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL for a little while.
So, Hutton appeared in the Walleye’s 2011-12 team set, which uses the same exact photo as his 2010-11 Worcester Sharks card.
At first, I didn’t even notice, as the Walleye sometimes wore black, and Hutton is leaning forward, partially obscuring the team logo on the front of the jersey. Then I noticed the teal and orange pads — and the Sharks logo on the shoulder.
Since both sets were made by Choice Marketing, who specializes in minor-league team sets, it is possible that Hutton was a last-minute inclusion in the Walleye’s 2011-12 set, and that Choice just decided to recycle his 2010-11 photo instead of trying to get an updated one.
Shoot — even the Choice Marketing logo is in the exact same spot, too. ■
Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk.