Detroit Red Wings re-sign John Lethemon to a two-way deal

(Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings make it official and re-sign netminder John Lethemon to a one-year, two-way contract.

Lethemon, 26, will return to the Wings organization next year following a great campaign playing primarily with Detroit’s ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye. The Northville native and former Michigan State Spartan is coming off a stellar season, going 18-1-3 with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage in 26 games. Lethemon also recorded four shutouts and was named the ECHL’s top netminder in 2022-23.

This past season he shared the cage with Detroit’s top goaltending prospect Sebastian Cossa. Cossa, 20, a first-round pick (N0. 15) from the 2021 NHL Entry Level Draft, went 26-16-4 in his first professional season. Cossa maintained a 2.56 goals-against average to pair with a .913 save percentage over 46 games in Toledo. Both goaltenders struggled mightily last season when called upon to play with Detroit’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Lethemon appeared in nine games with the Griffins, going 1-6-2 with a 3.88 goals-against average and a .878 save percentage. Cossa, expected to begin the 2023-24 season with the Griffins, performed worse in his three AHL games. Cossa provided the Griffins with a 5.57 goals against average and a .783 save percentage going 1-1 and making three appearances.

The Detroit Red Wings bring back goaltender John Lethemon to a one-year deal.

Lethemon appeared in seven playoff games last season, helping the Walleye reach the Western Conference Finals in the Kelly Cup playoffs. He posted a 2.64 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage during that stretch. Lethemon’s extension will pay him $750,000 next season.

Over the past couple of weeks, the Detroit Red Wings recently added a pair of free-agent goaltenders, James Reimer and Alex Lyon, who are expected to compete for the primary backup spot in Detroit behind Ville Husso. It seems Reimer, 35, is the favorite to remain in Detroit, with Lyon being the starter in Grand Rapids. Lyon will be a valuable resource and someone for Cossa to look up to next season. Also, if injuries occur in Detroit, Lyon can keep the ship afloat.

Lyon, 30, played in the Florida Panthers organization this past season and was called upon to contribute when Spencer Knight entered the NHL and NHLPA’s player assistance program this past February. When veteran Sergei Bobrovsky struggled late in the year, it was Lyon that carried the load and helped the Panthers reach the postseason (with some help from the Chicago Blackhawks) as the eighth seed in the East. Lyon posted a 9-4-2 record with a 2.82 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage making 15 regular season appearances. Lyon started in the playoffs for the Panthers before giving way to Bobrovsky midway through the first round against the Bruins.

DeBrincat officially traded to the Detroit Red Wings. light. Trending

Reimer signed a one-year deal worth $1.5 million, and Lyon signed a two-year contract that averages $900,000 per season.