Mrazek needs to play. If Howard is healthy, he's playing 60 games or so, leaving less than 25 for the backup. It's not very often that a kid with waiver exemptions is brought in to backup an established starter. It also gives them a 3rd goalie that they can trust to com in and play if there is a long term injury. Would you really like to see a tandem of Mrazek and McCollum for a month if Howard goes down with a serious injury? This way Mrazek can come up and split time with a guy who has shown he can be at least adequate in Gustavsson.
Mrazek needs to play against NHL competition. There's only so much getting ripe a prospect can do in terms of development, even if the option is available to spend another year in Grand Rapids. 20-25 games will serve Mrazek better than another season against lesser talent, which he clearly has already proven to have mastered playing against.
Besides, any starts given to the backup could be huge in the standings if the Red Wings are indeed a borderline playoff team again. Throw out the contract situations and in terms of having the better goalie on the roster, I want Mrazek over Gustavsson. Mrazek is superior in net, cheaper and is in all probability going to be healthier than Gustavsson should he be called upon if Howard is injured. What's the sense in having an injury-riddled backup goalie around who isn't very reliable or consistent? Worrying about maybe needing a third goalie isn't much of an argument IMO. If it comes to that, most (if not all NHL teams) are going to be in trouble.
I'm not saying this move ruins the entire off-season; it just doesn't seem like a necessary decision when you have a more capable player already within the organization. I don't understand wasting cap space on Gustavsson when Mrazek is a better goalie. The Red Wings obsession with seasoning players in the minors just because they can is excessive and annoying, especially when the big club isn't winning.
Edited by GoWings1905, 22 June 2014 - 06:51 PM.