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StormJH1

What is the plan with Mrazek?

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I'm sure this question has been asked many times in varying ways here (sorry, I took a bit of a hiatus from the forum), but what is the end game with Petr Mrazek. Yes, he's played all of 11 games in the NHL. But the returns everywhere have been great. He's consistently at a .920 or better SV % whether he's in the NHL or AHL (and it's not like this is the shutdown Red Wings defense of old in front of him). He won an AHL championship at having barely turned 21 years old.

I'm still a Jimmy Howard fan. Some fans may come to hate that deal in years to come, but try finding a long-term contract for a starting NHL goalie that worked out as planned - it almost never happens. But it's very clear that Howard, if healthy, is going to have first shot at that starting job for longer than Mrazek is going to be prepared to wait.

I believe that Mrazek is good enough now to be an NHL backup or platoon starter. But it's also true that goaltenders need game experience and are almost never handed starting NHL jobs before they are at least 23 years old.

With all that in mind, would you have resigned Monster and kept Mrazek in the AHL to get more playing time? Or would you have preferred to have him in Detroit in something of a 65/35 split that would keep Jimmy healthy and get Mrazek enough game experience to continue his development. Or is all of this a moot point because of Jimmy and Gustavsson's durability issues, and we're basically looking at a 3-goalie situation anyway?

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Mraz will be the backup next year and get a heavier dose of NHL games, and after that he isn't automatically the backup in the following seasons and should probably get a shot at a starting job should jimmy flounder. Everything's a process his time will come. Kid looks good but from watching the games with the wings he looks like he still needs work before being a full time starter imo. But looking to see him in the lineup next year.

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Well since Gus is back I'm not sure how this would work , but I wish there was a way to have him play maybe 20 NHL games this season.

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he just signed a 1 year one way contract that starts after this upcoming season, for sure he will be the back up, plus holland already said that was the case, even contemplated making him the back up this year.

krsmith17 likes this

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I'm OK with them bringing back Gustavsson for one year. Two years would have been a problem for me. Mrazek will play 60+ games in Grand Rapids unless he is called up to Detroit for any length of time. My prediction is that he'll back up Howard in 15/16 and start 25 games, see more of an even split in 16/17, and take over the starting role in 17/18, if not sooner.

krsmith17 and Rick D like this

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Having Gus back for 1 more year is fine - it allows Mrazek to get big playing time in GR, polish his skills down there in his final year of eligibility, ready to back up Howard next season.

This way, Mrazek then gets eased into the backup role and can step in this season if there's any injuries, and the following year he'll get tons of experience playing 20+ games. I wouldn't be surprised if in 3 years time he's splitting playing time with Jimmy equally.

krsmith17 likes this

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My guess is they will start him in GR splitting time with McCollum. But in an effort to get him more ice time he will be demoted to Toledo so he can play every day.

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This situation feels like a Jonathan Bernier situation to me - 20-year old goalie shows up for a few games and looks nearly NHL ready, but is blocked on the Kings and left to over-ripen in the minors. He eventually gets traded. I don't feel a trade is imminent, but with people bending over backwards to trade Tatar, it's funny Mrazek never comes up in trade discussions.

Tom McCollum is another complicating factor here because he turns 25 in December, and actually was pretty good last year. There was a pretty comical moment where all the bloggers/reports started to report that the organization was going to let him go - it was about a 90-minute free-for-all of bloggers and beat reporters tweeting out every negative comment they'd sat on about McCollum for a few seasons...and then he was re-signed.

But McCollum, apparently, is an asset too, so you have assume that's approximately a 50/50 playing time share in Grand Rapids. Mrazek played 32 games for GR and 9 for Detroit last season (41 total). So, realistically, I'm not sure I buy the argument that he's getting significantly more game time for the Griffins than he would as a full-time backup on the Red Wings, where he could play maybe 25-35 games (figuring in likely injuries to Howie and Gustavsson).

I'm not saying it's "wrong" that he's in Grand Rapids, I get why they're doing it, but the playing time issue is worth pointing out.

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Well since Gus is back I'm not sure how this would work , but I wish there was a way to have him play maybe 20 NHL games this season.

Our training staff is terrible, so 20 games seems pretty likely when you factor in groin pulls.

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The thing is, I really don't think Mrazek is going to be splitting a ton of time. I think McCollum is more of an insurance factor than anything. I really believe Mrazek will play the large majority of the GR games, unless he's called up due to injury.

krsmith17 likes this

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The thing is, I really don't think Mrazek is going to be splitting a ton of time. I think McCollum is more of an insurance factor than anything. I really believe Mrazek will play the large majority of the GR games, unless he's called up due to injury.

Holland already said mrazek will get 60+ starts.

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Have a tandem of Mrazek and Howard two seasons from now and if he looks like a starter trade Howard at the trade deadline or the end of the season and either move up McCollum to be his backup or sign someone else.

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Have a tandem of Mrazek and Howard two seasons from now and if he looks like a starter trade Howard at the trade deadline or the end of the season and either move up McCollum to be his backup or sign someone else.

Lets not get so ahead of ourselves. McCollum is barely an ahl goalie, and you want him to be an nhl backup now? No that's to that suggestion

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Have a tandem of Mrazek and Howard two seasons from now and if he looks like a starter trade Howard at the trade deadline or the end of the season and either move up McCollum to be his backup or sign someone else.

I would go for this, besides having McCollum be the back up after Howie is gone. Maybe McC will have improved enough, but if not we could always sign a free agent back-up. Gus is only 29 so he could still be a viable back up at that time. Just not sure where he'd go in the intermittent season of the Howie/Mrazec year.

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I would go for this, besides having McCollum be the back up after Howie is gone. Maybe McC will have improved enough, but if not we could always sign a free agent back-up. Gus is only 29 so he could still be a viable back up at that time. Just not sure where he'd go in the intermittent season of the Howie/Mrazec year.

Gus could do a Ty Conklin and come back and I'm only saying McCollum if he improves enough to be an affordable backup that is used sparingly.

roboturner likes this

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No way that Gus groin last a whole season. Mrazek will get 15+ games this year plus starters role in GR. Hes in Detroit from the start next year.

krsmith17 likes this

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