Just gonna get it all out of the way at once, are we, Flyers? A couple of hours after calling up Oskar Lindblom, the Flyers made the inevitable move to acquire a goalie that we knew they needed to make:
The #Flyers have acquired G Petr Mrazek from the @DetroitRedWings in exchange for a conditional 4th round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a conditional 3rd round draft pick in 2019. https://t.co/h3rlewulta— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 20, 2018
Mrazek, 26, joins the Flyers after having spent parts of six seasons with the Red Wings. He is a restricted free agent this summer, so this move figures to be a rental for the Flyers, who desperately need an NHL option in net after losing both Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott to injuries this month. Elliott will be out until late March after having core surgery last week, while Neuvirth suffered a lower-body injury this past Sunday and, from the sounds of things, will be out for a while:
Michal Neuvirth is out long term, weeks and not days, according to Hextall— John Boruk (@johnborukNBCS) February 20, 2018
Mrazek figures to join the Flyers as soon as possible; he may or may not be available for Tuesday’s game against Montreal, but at the latest should be in action for the Flyers on Thursday against Columbus.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie has the conditions of the deal:
DET guaranteed no less than a 4th round for Mrazek. If PHI makes playoffs and Mrazek wins 5 games for PHI in reg season, 4th becomes a 3rd. If PHI advances to CF, and Mrazek wins six playoff games, the 3rd becomes a 2nd. If PHI re-signs him next season, DET gets PHI 3rd in 19.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 20, 2018
With Neuvirth likely out for “weeks”, it’s not hard at all to see Mrazek winning at least five games with the Flyers, which would bump the initial fourth-round pick up to a third-round pick. As for the second condition, I think most Flyers fans would live with the pick bumping from a third-rounder to a second-rounder if Mrazek is a big part of the Flyers advancing to the conference finals.
The other pick, the 2019 third-rounder, appears to be entirely conditional depending on whether or not the Flyers bring Mrazek back after this season. Since they currently have two goalies under contract for next season, the most likely scenario at this point probably involves the Flyers not giving that pick up. However, if things go well for Mrazek in his time here and the Flyers decide to move some pieces to keep him around, that could change.
We discussed the possibility of this trade a bit earlier today, and it was always clear that Mrazek — who Detroit has seemingly been ready to rid themselves of for a while now — was something of a decent fit for what the Flyers needed, even though they reportedly turned down an offer for him from the Red Wings just last week:
We’ll start with one that the Flyers have already been linked to: Petr Mrazek, the backup-turned-starter-turned-backup for the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit GM Ken Holland has apparently already asked Hextall for his thoughts on the 26-year old Czech netminder; the Detroit Free Press reported that the Red Wings, at some point last week following the announcement of Elliott’s injury, offered Mrazek to the Flyers for a third-round pick, and the Flyers declined. With Neuvirth potentially out, will Hextall give Holland a ring back? If he does, will that offer still stand?
Mrazek has been just-OK for Detroit this year, posting a .910 save percentage in 22 games as Jimmy Howard’s backup. A guy who once looked like the future in net for Detroit, he seems to have fallen out of favor there after a rough 2016-17 campaign (one that led to his surprisingly being exposed in the Vegas expansion draft). He’s a restricted free agent this summer. The way Detroit has seemingly given up on him does raise some eyebrows, and the fact that the Flyers already turned down one offer for him makes it seem like this isn’t the way they’ll go. But it’ll likely remain an option unless/until they make another move.
The Athletic’s Craig Custance reports another interesting detail of the move: Detroit will retain half of Mrazek’s $4 million cap hit.
Red Wings retaining half the salary in the Mrazek trade with Philly.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 20, 2018
The Flyers, who have had somewhere between $2 and $3 million in cap space for most of the season, had banked enough space under the cap this year to retain nearly $10 million in 2017-18 cap hits at the deadline ($9,882,308 of cap hits, to be exact, courtesy of Cap Friendly’s tracker). Even if they’d acquired Mrazek’s full cap hit of $4 million, they’d have had just under $6 million in space to add more players. As it is now, they have just under $8 million in space to add more players, which would be enough to make a bit move if they wanted to.
Though, it’s also very possible that the Flyers are anticipating paying out a number of performance bonuses to young players this summer, and want to save every possible dollar against the cap that they can to prevent overages next season.
With the acquisition of Mrazek and the call-up of Lindblom on Monday, the Flyers currently have 24 players on their roster; most likely, Neuvirth will head to injured reserve until he is deemed ready to return, at which point Alex Lyon figures to head back to Lehigh Valley. Another tough decision will have to be made when Elliott is healthy again in late March, but we’ll cross that bridge when we reach it. For now, the Flyers have a healthy and reasonably capable NHL goalie, which is nice.
Full text of the Flyers’ press release below:
The Philadelphia Flyers announced they have acquired goaltender Petr Mrazek from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a conditional fourth round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a conditional third round draft pick in 2019.
Below are news & notes on Mrazek:
PETR MRAZEK (M’Raz-ihk)
PREVIOUS TEAM: Detroit Red Wings
DRAFTED: 2010 (5th Round, 141st Overall) - Detroit Red Wings
AGE: 26 (2/14/1992)
BORN: Ostrava, Czech Republic
VITALS: 6’2”, 181 pounds
In his last 10 appearances for the Red Wings, Mrazek has posted a 5-2-2 record with a 2.01 GAA and .937 save percentage.
In total this season, he has an 8-7-2 record with the Red Wings while posting a 2.89 GAA and .910 save percentage.
His most successful season came in 2015-16 when he posted a 27-16-6 record in 54 games to go along with a .921 save percentage and 2.33 GAA.
He helped lead Detroit to the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs where he appeared in three games, posted a one shutout and a 1.36 GAA and .945 save percentage in a First Round loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Overall, Mrazek has an NHL record of 72-58-20 with a career goals-against average of 2.60 and .912 save percentage.
He won a Calder Cup Championship with Detroit’s AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013 when he went 15-9 with a 2.31 GAA and .916 save percentage.
Internationally, Mrazek was named the Best Goaltender in the 2012 World Junior Championship tournament where he posted a 3-3-0 record with a 2.31 GAA and .928 save percentage, seeing a total of 208 shots in those six appearances.
Also in the same year as the World Juniors, he was a member of the Czech Republic team that won a Bronze Medal at the 2012 World Championships.