DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with free agent goaltender Matej Machovsky on a one-year contract beginning in 2017-18.
Machovsky, who participated in the Red Wings’ development camp in July 2016, has spent the past four seasons playing in the Czech Republic’s top professional league for HC Plzen. In 178 appearances since 2013-14, he has compiled a 94-84-0 record with a 2.23 goals-against average, a 0.923 save percentage and 14 shutouts. The 6-foot-2, 187-lb., netminder led the Czech Extraliga in save percentage (0.936) as a first-year pro in 2013-14 alongside a career-best 1.67 goals-against average and six shutouts. In 2015-16, he posted a personal-best 26 wins and ranked eighth among goalies who played in 25-or-more games with a 2.43 goals-against average, while finishing third with a 0.920 save percentage. Machovsky’s club reached the semifinals in the Czech Extraliga playoffs, where he led the league with a 0.932 save percentage. He also represented the Czech Republic at the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia but did not see game action. This season, Machovsky owned a 21-25-0 record and improved on his goals-against average (2.25) and save percentage (0.925), while adding two shutouts.
The Opava, Czech Republic, native spent three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League prior to beginning his professional career. In 112 games with the Brampton Battalion and five with the Guelph Storm, he put together a 56-45-13 record, 2.54 goals-against average, 0.901 save percentage and nine shutouts. Machovsky was named to the 2011 OHL Second All-Rookie Team and won the Dinty Moore Trophy for having the best goals-against average (2.90) by a rookie goaltender. He has also seen action with the Czech national team at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, where he was named a top-three player on the team, and 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The soon-to-be 24-year old Allan Walsh client will begin his NHL career on a one-year entry-level contract and will be automatically exempt from the expansion draft. It's not immediately clear what the Red Wings' plans are in terms of goaltenders going into expansion and trade season, but it's hard to imagine the team adding another goalie to the pipeline (and presumably in front of a generally disappointing Jared Coreau) without also assuming they have a plan to rid themselves of a more-expensive goaltender and go with an inexpensive backup.
We'll update this story as we get more details.