Red Wings Trade Petr Mrazek to the Flyers

After weeks of speculation, the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers finally came together on a deal for goaltender Petr Mrazek. Detroit’s Twitter account reported the trade late Monday night. With Mrazek heading to Philadelphia, the Red Wings are set to receive a 2018 conditional 4th Round draft pick and a 2019 conditional 3rd Round pick.

Mrazek is in the last year of a two-year contract with a $4 million AAV, though the actual dollar figure for this season is $4.15 million. The goaltender is scheduled to become a restricted free agent at season’s end, though it’s been speculated that he would not be qualified at his current salary this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The Athletic’s Craig Custance reported that the Red Wings will retain half of Mrazek’s 2017-18 salary. In addition, TSN’s Bob McKenzie noted the conditions of the draft picks that Detroit has acquired.

Injuries to Philadelphia’s Goaltenders

Last week, it was announced that Flyers starting netminder Brian Elliott would miss five-to-six weeks following core surgery. Elliott had started the lion’s share of games this season for Philadelphia before going under the knife. Through 41 games, the Newmarket, Ontario-native has posted a 21-11-7 record in his first season with the Flyers.

Brian Elliott of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Brian Elliott will be out for 5-6 weeks following core surgery. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Losing Elliott was a big blow for Philadelphia as they push for a playoff berth. Losing backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth during Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers made matters worse.

During the game, Neuvirth sustained a lower-body injury and was replaced by rookie Alex Lyon. Following Elliott’s injury, Neuvirth posted a 3-0-1 record before his own injury occurred. With the second-year professional Lyon set to be Philadelphia’s starting goalie and a postseason appearance on the line, many, including TSN’s Darren Dreger, felt a move coming.

Mrazek Heating Up

After a slow start to the season, Mrazek finally found his form as the calendar turned to 2018. Save Detroit’s regrettable loss to the New York Islanders, the Czech netminder has been spectacular for the Red Wings as of late.

Petr Mrazek of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Jakub Voracek and Petr Mrazek will now be teammates. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Since the beginning of January, Mrazek has posted a 5-3-2 record for underachieving Red Wings, along with a 2.29 goals-against average (GAA) and .925 save percentage (SV%). Philadelphia’s newest addition has been splitting time with veteran Jimmy Howard in Hockeytown, but has been the “hot hand” for the Red Wings. With the Flyers, Mrazek will have the opportunity to start most nights until either Elliott or Neuvirth returns from their respective injuries.

Over parts of six seasons in Detroit, Mrazek has looked like the goaltender of the future at times. He’s also looked quite the opposite. Mrazek’s final record with the Red Wings stands at 72-58-20 through 166 NHL games, with a 2.60 GAA, .912 SV%, and 13 shutouts.

With Mrazek now in Philadelphia, Detroit will likely lean on Howard the rest of the way. American Hockey League Player of the Week Jared Coreau is expected to be recalled to serve as Howard’s backup and start a few games down the road for the rebuilding Red Wings.