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Red Wings re-sign Mrazek for Two Years $4M AAV, avoiding arbitration

Bridge deals!

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Just when we thought that we’d see the first Red Wings case go to “real” arbitration since the 90s (apparently Jiri Hudler doesn’t count because he had signed in the KHL before that hearing took place), the Red Wings pull out the 11th hour contract and sign up Petr Mrazek for two years:

Easy math on this one splitting the difference and getting a $4M AAV out of the next two years. The added benefit is that Mrazek will still be an RFA at the end of this deal. He will, however have a lot more bargaining power than a standard RFA for the following reasons:

  • The Red Wings elected arbitration on Mrazek this year, meaning they will not be able to do so again in 2018, though Mrazek will be eligible to elect it if he so chooses.
  • If arbitration is elected next time, it will have to be a one-year deal regardless.

With Mrazek being the team’s presumptive starter for the foreseeable future, this deal at a good AAV gives him the opportunity to prove that he can handle a heavier workload and be more consistent while also giving the Wings a bit more protection in terms of ability to deal with the worry that Mrazek will choose this point in his career to stop rising to every challenge he’s faced.

Mrazek’s signing leaves the Red Wings currently over the cap by just under $5M. However, once Johan Franzen and Joe Vitale are eligible to be put on LTIR (at the beginning of the season), the Red Wings will be cap-compliant barring any further moves.

This also means that any future trades involving defensemen either have to include pieces which make such a trade “dollar-in for dollar-out” or have to be moves which leave the Wings with more cap space than they have now.

More from the Red Wings:

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with goaltender Petr Mrazek on a two-year contract.

Mrazek, 24, appeared in a career-high 54 games for the Red Wings in 2015-16, posting a 27-16-3 record, 2.33 goals-against average, 0.921 save percentage and four shutouts. Mrazek earned NHL Second Star of the Week Honors on Jan. 11, after posting a 3-0-0 record, 0.67 goals-against average, 0.978 save percentage and one shutout during three-straight starts this season. In 94 career games since making his NHL debut in 2012-13, Mrazek has compiled a 46-30-8 record, 2.29 goals-against average, 0.920 save percentage and nine shutouts. He has also made 10 career NHL postseason appearances, owning a 4-6 record, 1.88 goals-against average, 0.931 save percentage and three shutouts. The 6-foot-2, 183-pound netminder was originally a fifth-round draft pick (141st overall) by Detroit in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

A native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Mrazek made 87 appearances with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins from 2012-15, compiling a 54-27-4 record, 2.21 goals-against average, 0.913 save percentage and seven shutouts during the regular season while backstopping the Griffins to a Calder Cup championship in 2013 with a 15-9 postseason record alongside a 2.31 goals-against average, 0.916 save percentage and four shutouts. Prior to his professional career, Mrazek logged 132 games for the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League from 2009-12, going 75-37-10 with a 3.00 goals-against average, 0.916 save percentage and 10 shutouts. He represented the Czech Republic at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, earning honors as the tournament’s best goaltender after posting a 2.49 goals-against average and a 0.927 save percentage in six games. Mrazek has also been tabbed to represent his country at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey this September in Toronto.