The Detroit Red Wings had no trouble beating the Columbus Blue Jackets up and down on Monday, winning the first of a home-and-home by a score of 7-2. But on Wednesday, they could be facing a different foe entirely, someone who might be a bit familiar to fans in the region. Shawn Hunwick, who just wrapped up his career with the Michigan Wolverines on Friday night when they were eliminated from the NCAA tournament, has signed an amateur tryout contract with the Blue Jackets, according to Shawn Mitchell on Twitter.
Generally, this would mean that the player is going to go straight to the AHL or some other team affiliate, but in this case, Hunwick is set to be a backup for the Blue Jackets on an emergency basis. As it turns out, goalie Steve Mason was injured after taking a puck to the head Wednesday morning, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.
Hunwick may not play at all, and he may not be signed to be a backup for the Blue Jackets again if Mason's injury is not serious, but it's an interesting situation with Hunwick less than a week out of college at this point. It's also worth noting that Hunwick got his chance to be the starter and be a hero for the Michigan hockey team on two separate occasions when Bryan Hogan went down with two separate injuries.
On one occasion, Hunwick carried the Wolverines to the NCAA tournament following an injury to Hogan on senior night in 2010, and on the other occasion, he was awarded the starting job after Hogan, the player he was competing with, was injured during warmups for The Big Chill at the Big House. Other players' misfortune has led to Hunwick getting a chance in the past, and now he's likely one injury away from being in net for an actual NHL game.