With the deadline for players to file for arbitration having passed, it was up to the NHL franchises to take their remaining restricted free agents to arbitration – if they so choose. And on Wednesday, the Detroit Red Wings announced that they would be taking goaltender Petr Mrazek to arbitration in search of a fair contract.
Prior to Wednesday, the Wings were already facing arbitration hearings for two other RFAs in Danny DeKeyser and Jared Coreau. Since then, Coreau’s signed a two-year deal while the Wings still have up until the hearing dates to work out something with both DeKeyser and Mrazek.
That being said, if Detroit isn’t able to come to some kind of deal with the 24-year-old Mrazek before his hearing, here’s how it will break down.
For starters, no other team will be able to take Mrazek to arbitration for the remainder of his career. The Red Wings will have to accept the arbitrator’s deal regardless of what it might be, while Mrazek has the choice going into the hearing of whether or not it will be a one or two-year deal.
From there, Mrazek will remain an RFA for the next three years if it comes to an arbitration hearing – meaning even if the Wings and their goaltender agree to a two-year deal in the hearing, the team will maintain his rights for one more year once the contract is up.
Finally, with the team taking Mrazek to arbitration, Mrazek can’t be handed anything less than 80 percent of his salary from last season. Mind you, Detroit and everyone else is expecting a significant pay raise from his $737,500 from 2015-16.
Last season, Mrazek finished with a 27-16-6 record in 54 games. He had a respectable 2.33 goals against average and a .921 save percentage to go along with four shutouts. In the playoffs, he manage just one win in three games, but had a shutout with a 1.36 average and .945 save percentage.
While his career numbers are a small sample size, he does have a 46-30-8 winning record in 94 career regular season games. His goals against is under 2.30 with his save percentage hanging around the .920 mark. While the Red Wings will be looking for a good deal for their future starter, it will certainly be more than the 80 percent mark of his last year’s salary ($590,000).
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.