Monday night, the Philadelphia Flyers made a fairly significant organizational move. With injuries to both the starting and backup goalies, the Flyers were basically forced into acquiring a new net minder.
Insert Petr Mrazek for a conditional 4th round pick in 2018 and conditional 3rd round pick in 2019.
Mrazek, 6’2” 181lbs., has a lifetime 2.60 GAA and a .912 save percentage. These aren’t eye popping numbers, but they also aren’t terrible numbers. The 26-year-old was once considered to be the goalie of the future for the Red Wings. It appears, like a fair number of goalies, Mrazek has lost his confidence somewhere along the way. This season has been a bit of a struggle as he has a 2.89 GAA and a .910 save percentage in 22 games with Detroit. A change of scenery might have been what he needed to get back to the 2.12 GAA he held after his 4th season.
A shift in philosophy?
This move is a HUGE gamble for the asset/draft pick loving Hextall. It goes against everything he believes in. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. If Mrazek can catch fire, and return to his past form, then it will be a win for Hextall. The farm is loaded with young talent. Therefore, Hextall, for the first time in years is in a position take said gamble with his picks.
In almost all situations I am completely against desperation moves, but this is one I am okay with. Giroux is having an all-star year and the young talent is finally starting to contribute. It is smart to strike while the iron is hot. The NHL is well known for its “lightning in a bottle” playoff runs. Detroit gave up on Mrazek for a reason so this move does have the potential to be a bust, but it’s worth a last-ditch effort to try to get this team back to into the playoffs.
Mrazek is expected to start in net tonight for the Flyers as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Wells Fargo Center.