The Detroit Red Wings signed Czech goalie Matej Machovsky to a one-year deal on Tuesday.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) May 2, 2017
Machovsky skated with the Red Wings at their 2016 Development Camp in Traverse City, so he’s a bit of a known quantity to the organization.
On one hand, the move seemingly comes out of nowhere, as Machovsky left the Ontario Hockey League four years ago and has been playing in Czechia ever since. At 23 years old (24 by the time the season starts) he’s not exactly a traditional prospect.
That said, the Red Wings’ goaltending pipeline is a mess. They have to hope they’re able to unload Jimmy Howard (and his contract) this summer without taking on another NHL-level goalie so they can go with a tandem of Petr Mrazek and Jared Coreau next season. Eddie Pasquale is a free agent. Cal Heeter is as well, and was never signed to an NHL deal anyway. Jake Paterson hasn’t been able to break into the AHL, let alone look NHL-ready, and is a restricted free agent this summer. Chase Perry and Filip Larsson simply aren’t ready. Maybe Joren van Pottlebergh could make the jump.
This at least gives them a body going into the summer, a bit of depth to work with. Is it a sign that a deal for Howard is coming? Does Machovsky leapfrog Coreau on the depth chart? I have no idea.
It is worth noting that Machovsky will be exempt from the waiver draft. Maybe the Wings think Coreau will get claimed and this is a move to replace him. Again, I don’t know.