I really don't understand the flak Howard gets, or the short, SHORT, leash he's been given.
For some reason, he's been labeled an barely average- average goalie. It almost seems like the fans, or just hockey fans in general, are hypocritical about the guy.
Barely average-average= a .900-.910. .915 on a good year? Maybe 60% at the shootout?
If that's what we expect from Howard, then last season he shouldn't have really been crucified. He played within his talent level, accord to most. You see, to me, Barely average- average goalies do not post .920+ the majority of their career (so far). To me, until his average season last season, an average goalie doesn't post around 75% in the shootout, consistently. To me, that's high end of above average goal tending. Or has he just been overachieving his whole career? And don't tell be it's because of the stout defense we put out on that ice. /sarcasm
Oh, but what about this year's shootout numbers! Statistical anomalies happen. You just don't go from one of the better shootout goalies, to the worst, without a reason. I'm sure it will be fixed.
Mrazek has talent. But he's far from ready. He has had the benefit of an offensive burst from the Wings right now. Sure it's a team game. But had it been Howard it net letting in those very same goals? The man would be on GOAT status, if he isn't there already.
Mrazek can't catch a puck. He can't swallow a puck. Sure Jimmy's rebound control was bad, but not this bad. It was mostly Jimmy's kick saves (as still kind of there) that were the problem. Never a glove issue, or swallowing the puck...to this degree.
I feel like Mrazek supporters are on a high right now because "he's winning". But once there's a stretch where he needs to squeeze points from 5-6 1 goal games in a row. I know Jimmy can do it. Mrazek? I'm not so sure. And as excited as some people are, and as I am, I'm not ready to hand over the reigns to the kid until he's 100% better than Jimmy. And Jimmy is a realllly good goal tender. It won't be an easy take over, no matter how we try to conjure up a scenario.
I don't think as many people are s***ting on Jimmy as you suggest. I think Mrazek has the potential to take over the starting job in the next couple years, but it doesn't mean I think Jimmy as anything short of a very good and at times great goalie, and most certainly well above average at just about all times.
I do think he has flaws working against him, like any player does, though one of his is playoff performance. Thus far, he's yet to play as well in the playoffs as we've seen him play in the regular season, and while not all bad, there have been some rough outings for him in the big show. If he loses the job to Mrazek, my guess is that's going to be why. But he could also solidify his status by having playoff success this year or next. He and the team are capable of it at this point, and thankfully, there are no shootouts in the playoffs. Don't think for a second that I won't be rooting for him.
But also in Mrazek's defense, we've seen a lot more of him at a earlier point in time in his development than we saw of Jimmy. Jimmy was not exactly in the best of shape earlier on, and didn't make the team as a backup until they were out of options for him. And even at that point, three years older than where Mrazek is at now, he had quite a few glaring flaws in his game he still had to work out. And he's never fully worked out his mediocre and at times piss-poor puck handling. And to be fair, Howard, even much further into his career than Mrazek, had a season where 3rd period meltdowns became a semi-regular occurrence just last year. Mrazek clearly has a lot of room for growth and improvement, but there's a lot of potential there and he seems to have the right attitude about it all.
Again, I do think at some point in the near future there will be a battle for that number one spot between Mrazek and Howard, but it's a very good problem to have, as Howard is at the very least a very good goalie, so if Mrazek ends up being better, then we are in a great spot indeed.
You crazy nuts bro ... you, hockeymom1960, gcom007 ... where are the other 47?
Yeah, it's crazy nuts to think Mrazek has the potential to challenge Howard for the starting spot in 1-2 years. That's all I'm saying, and I don't think many here would actually disagree with that timeline too much. You might want to try actually reading what I'm saying.
I think someone forgot to tell DeKeyser that no one wants to sign here.
I can't even believe this discussion is even taking place. What in the Red Wings/Holland's history would give any indication whatsoever that they would trade anyone away to bring up a 22 year old goaltender? Howard spent 4 seasons in the minors and I don't think he became a regular until he was like 25 or 26. Like it or not, the "over ripen" philosophy has been very successful for the most part and I don't see it changing anytime soon, most especially with this situation.
They wanted Howard up earlier, but he kept blowing his chances. He wasn't in good shape at least once if not several times heading into camp, and even when he made the team, it was because they were out of options for him and it was his last chance. His later age of entry into the NHL had nothing to do with wanting him to "over-ripen" and everything to do with the fact that he failed to make the cut earlier.
Bear in mind though that I'm not saying we should promote Mrazek to starter and trade Howard now. As I've said whenever this has come up, this is something that will need to be sorted out in 1-2 years. Mrazek will no doubt make the team next year and I don't doubt that Babcock will give him every opportunity to win the starting job from Howard. If he can do it, well, then we have a good problem, because Howard at the very least is a very good goalie, one of the better ones in the game when he's on. It'll be no small feat, but Mrazek is likely capable of it, and if he does so, something will have to be sorted out. Again, it'll be a good problem to have ultimately.
I couldn't agree more Playmaker. +10
Also, in regards to the Mrazek vs Howard debate... Before last night I wanted to sign Mrazek to a mega deal and trade Howard, but after last nights performance, I think we should probably trade or maybe even waive Mrazek. We probably wouldn't get much in return after last nights performance anyway. I mean 3 goals allowed on 7 shots? That's aaaawful. He will never ever get it done at the NHL level, unless of course he has a bounce back game next game. Then, we should probably trade Howard. I mean, no team wants to have two capable goaltenders at one time, that would be what they call a "goalie controversy", bad news... I'm not sure, am I doing this right?... f***in LGW...
I dreaded coming on here last night due to this. One roughf****** game and people lose their s***. It's absurd. But as noted above, Playmaker's statements are a bit off-base and don't account for certain realities of the Howard situation specifically.
Correct. I was using NHL Numbers, and they cut off at the at 16-17 season. My mistake.
Even with the extra year, I really don't see Howard being moved out, at least not until that very last season. Perhaps if they had a competent back-up in the system, or if there are issues with the cap coming back down. As it stands, I think they'd feel much safer letting Howard kind of mentor Mrazek into the role. I agree with Howard having trade value, but I can't see Holland moving him unless he gets a fantastic offer for him. I don't think Mrazek takes over as starter next year, which means he's getting back-up money on his next contract. Even if he's getting somewhere around 2 million per, you're paying around 7-7.5 million on goaltending, which is what a good chunk of teams are paying for the position.
IMO, It really only becomes an issue if Petr signs on for 2 years, then gets paid well going into the 17-18 season.
That's also operating under the assumption that Howard will be okay taking a reduced role, which he might not be, and the Wings might feel more open to moving him just for the fact that he should be a starter somewhere.
But you bring up another interesting wrinkle about how and contracts will get structured. I wonder who Mrazek's agent is and if he's been known to play hardball in the past with other guys. You've got to imagine that he won't make it easy on the Wings. Mrazek and especially his agent, whoever that may be, are not going to be oblivious to his value. Two years at backup prices seems very reasonable on the next deal, but they'll want to clean up after that if he becomes the goalie a lot of people believe he will be.
And again, the whole reason I can't see them moving Howard in his last year or two even is the age thing, unless he attains some serious playoff credentials by then. I just don't know if any teams are going to want to trade for a 34-35 year old goalie with a $5.3 million cap hit who hasn't even made it to the 3rd round of the playoffs. That's why I think he either has a lot of playoff success here in this year or next, or he gets moved. It gets a lot harder to trade him the longer it goes on, and even if his deal doesn't spell cap doom immediately, there could be enough factors at play to make a trade make sense sometime after next season that I think it's likely to happen.
I agree. I wonder if we could trade the Monster. His injury woes would probably get in the way of that, but there has been some desperate teams and he's got last year's record to show teams.
Highly unlikely given his injuries, and ultimately unnecessary. He's still a good backup when healthy, and once Howard's back, it's going to do Mrazek no favors to have him in a straight backup role, so they'll send him back down to GR to get more starts. If they want him as the backup in the playoffs, they'll have him.
It isn't Howard vs. Mrazek... not yet. Why would you ship out a competent starting goaltender for an unproven 22-year old? That's just awful judgement. There's ZERO goalie controversy right now between the two of them. If anything, the question is "do we keep Petr up and waive Gustavsson?", which I don't think they'll do.
Gustavsson is gone next season - Mrazek will be up with the team full-time. They likely split the season in the 50-60 for Howard, 20-30 range for Mrazek next year. The 2016 off-season, Mrazek gets paid like a back-up for (hopefully) 2-3 seasons. At that point, you start comparing the two guys. You've got two years left on Howard's deal at that point, and in that time frame, you find out who is your starter. You don't simply toss a rookie goaltender into the starting spot in this situation - Detroit's in a great position in goal right now. You let Mrazek earn the #1 spot over time... not over 4-5 games.
It's a nice idea, but I don't know if it'll fly in the cap world given Howard's age and contract length. In the 2016 off-season, you've still got three years left on Howard's contract, not two.
For better or for worse, we know Babcock isn't afraid to go with the goalie that's winning, and if Mrazek comes up and outplays Howard, which he might be capable of, he's going to get a lot of starts. I do think he'll be given an opportunity to win a starting role next year in an A/B situation, and I don't think they'd let him go in the playoffs unless he's out of this world, it could end up being Howard's last chance to stay a Wing.
The way I see it, unless Howard wins a Cup in the next couple years, he's going to be trade bait after next season if Mrazek ends up looking ready to be an NHL starter next year. That doesn't mean I think they'll absolutely trade Howard in the 2016 off-season, but I think that'll be the point where he becomes a piece that's on the table. Ideally, you'd have him around the next year as well as insurance for Mrazek, but realistically, he's priced too high to be a backup in the cap world, and he's likely too old to wait to trade him until he only has a year or two left on his contract.
Mrazek may not have the NHL experience yet to make this an open and shut case, but Howard doesn't have the playoff experience to cement his status here either. I'd honestly love to see it happen, as I like Howard a lot and think he's capable and I think this team is capable of making a real stink this year or next. But if he can't do it and Mrazek continues to play strong when given the opportunity, it's really tough to justify keeping Howard at his cap hit when he's about the only player we have that has serious value on the trade market.
I wasn't worried about a goaltending drop off with Mrazek, but I'm still glad to see that he's giving me plenty of reasons to be confident in him. The kid looks great.
I don't think losing Rinne and losing Howard are the same thing, especially with Mrazek in net, but a win is a win and to get one this big against a team like Nashville this year, even without Rinne, is no small thing.
Anyone who thinks this Red Wings team can't go toe to toe with just about any team in the league this year is misinformed.
There are a lot of "if's" in there. "If Mrazek proves he's ready", "If Mrazek is at least as good as Howard". My point is that you don't trade a top goalie in the world, and replace him with a relatively unproven prospect. If you're not one of the people that were saying trade Howard before this season even started, then I guess my last post wasn't directed at you.
I'm as big a fan of Mrazek as anyone, but I'm not ready to hand over the reigns just yet. He still has a ton to prove at the NHL level. I think he will get there. We'll have a better idea after these next few weeks, and I'm personally looking forward to see what the kid got.
I absolutely was not one of those people. I think it's a situation that will need to be sorted out in the next 1-2 years. That's where I've stood on the issue for awhile. There's a lot of "ifs" there, and there's also a pretty reasonable timeline to sort out those "ifs." I'm definitely not ready to hand over the keys at this point either.
But if Mrazek is as good as people think he's going to be, the sooner we get him rolling as the starter, the better, because they're most likely going to have to decide on Howard or Mrazek in the next couple years, and Mrazek is a lot younger. I think a lot of people forget that though Howard hasn't been in the league for that many years, he didn't even make the team until he was 25. If you recall, he was at the end of his development rope and in a "now or never" situation heading into camp. Subsequently, he's going to be 31 this year. I'm not saying he's old, but if you want a chance to get some value for him in a trade, the move needs to be done sooner rather than later.
Exactly Euro_Twins. Those of you clamoring for Howard to be traded now, it simply is not going to happen. Howard isn't going anywhere any time soon. If anything, Mrazek would be the one that Holland would trade at this point. If I HAD to trade one right now, I would think long and hard, before ultimately keeping the proven goaltender and trading the very good prospect. I would do so, knowing I may regret it, but you cannot put all your faith into a goalie with just 20 NHL games under his belt. Lucky for us, we still have plenty of time to sort this out. If all goes well, maybe after a couple seasons of Mrazek backing up and another season or so of shared duty, we can then shop Howard, although I still wouldn't be shocked if Holland opted to keep his veteran goaltender...
I didn't say now, I said in the next year or two. A year or two makes for an exceedingly different story. Howard has four more seasons on his deal at a relatively heavy cap hit after this season. If Mrazek plays strong this season and comes in next year in a backup role and continues to play up to snuff with Howard, I don't think Howard's sticking around unless Howard win's a Cup this year or next.
And bear in mind, when push comes to shove, he hasn't proven much in the post-season yet. He's lost more games than he's won, doesn't have stellar numbers, and while you can't single-handedly fault him for our playoff failures as of late, he has yet to perform in the playoffs as well as he's performed in the regular season when he's been on. And that said, he's absolutely had some inconsistent regular seasons in a not so long career.
I'm not saying I don't like Howard nor am I saying that I don't think he's capable of leading this team to a Cup. I think he's a very good goalie and I honestly do like him a lot. But realistically speaking, he doesn't have anything close to a strong playoff resume yet, and if he doesn't get one soon, he's going to be in a position where he's expendable if Mrazek proves he's ready to be the number one guy.
If Mrazek is at least as good as Howard, and many think he'll be better, there's just no way you can justify keeping Howard into his mid-30s given his cap hit unless Howard becomes a Stanley Cup winning goalie in the next 1-2 years. (And again, to be clear, I do believe that's possible.)
2-4 weeks means 2-4 months right?
I'll be pleasantly surprised if he's back in a month.
I would gladly take Hossa's slightly higher cap hit when you factor in everything else he does that makes him worth more money than Franzen. Hossa is an elite two-way forward. He has obviously slowed down some from six years ago, but so has his counterpart. Even if it cost the Wings another player or two, we are still talking about Marian Hossa. He scored 40 goals and the Wings haven't had anyone hit 30 since.
Imagine Hossa for all these years on Pavel's wing instead of Bertuzzi, Abdelkader, Helm, etc. It would have completely changed the dynamic of the team.
Absolutely. He's a player you build teams around. He's going to make the guys around him better and set a great example. He would've been a tremendous asset to this team and I truly believe it would've made for a much smoother last four years. Having another guy like Hossa in the lineup, especially on a team like the Wings, sets a tone and raises the bar of what's expected out of guys, and you can never have enough of that kind of energy. If you can land a guy who brings that to a team, you do what you have to in order to make it happen. Furthermore, he raises the profile of the team, and makes it all the more likely that we'll be on players radars when we're trying to cut deals in the future.
The most frustrating part of that situation was that we really would've had one year of cap hell. One. Everyone knew the cap was going to keep going up and we were going to have more room to breathe moving forward. All we had to do was find a way to make it work for one year and we've got another elite two-way player on our team for the length of his career. And hell, if anything, it would've been a double blessing as we would've been forced us to move some clunky pieces for something as opposed to losing them for nothing as eventually happened, with no major benefits gained from keeping them around.
But for the love, I've seen a lot of dumb stuff posted on here, but suggesting that Franzen is a better value than Hossa based off of points per game relative to cap hit is seriously one of the more absurd and utterly simplistic suggestions I've seen made on here.