By JOHN WAWROW
AP Hockey Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - St. Louis Blues goalie Carter Hutton is expected to sign with the Buffalo Sabres once the NHL's free-agency period opens Sunday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the discussions.
The person tells The Associated Press that the two sides are close to having the framework of a deal in place after Hutton visited Buffalo this week. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Saturday because agreements cannot be announced until the signing period begins.
The 32-year-old Hutton has six seasons of NHL experience, including the past two with the Blues, where he split starting duties with Jake Allen. He finished with a 17-7-3 record and a 2.09 goals-against average in 32 games last year.
The Sabres have needs at goalie after electing not to re-sign third-year starter Robin Lehner and veteran backup Chad Johnson.
Hutton would form a tandem with Linus Ullmark, who is pegged to make the jump to the NHL level on a full-time basis after spending the past three years developing in the minors.
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