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Petr Mrazek, Red Wings File Club-Elected Arbitration

Add another name to the Red Wings’ list for arbitration that included Jared Coreau and Danny Dekeyser, their goalie of the future, Petr Mrazek. See yesterday’s announced list for the details on salary arbitration if not familiar with the bargaining option.

With Ken Holland using up a great majority of his cap space freed on account of the Pavel Datsyuk trade, counting LTIR space that will be available from Johan Franzen and Joe Vitale‘s contracts, the Wings will be able to have just over $5 million in space that they can exceed before the season begins in addition to the $4 million they have available at the moment. Mrazek will not be able to sign an offer sheet as a restricted free agent on account of the hearing since it was elected by the Red Wings.

As for Mrazek’s performance, up until February 14th, his next contract was promising to be huge. He single-handedly carried an offensively challenged team and helped them compete quite consistently in an 18-9-5 stretch from November 6th to February 12th posting a .935 save percentage. Some said that he could be a Vezina candidate by season’s end. However, things finally came down to earth for the 24-year old.

He gave up five goals that day against the Bruins (on his birthday no less), and would go into an extended down period. The young net minder couldn’t find his mojo and amassed a 6-7-1 record allowing three or more goals six times with a save percentage of .866 for the rest of the season. Still, in 54 games played his GAA (2.33) and save percentage (.921%) were quite incredible for a goaltender that had the leach full time for the majority of the season for the first time. He bounced back quite nicely in the postseason posting a .945 save percentage allowing four goals in three games, but committed the biggest mistake of his career so far in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s clinching Game 5 win when he turned the puck over behind the net leading to Alex Killorn’s game winner with 1:43 left.

In 2014-15, Mrazek showed everyone a glimpse of what he could do as he shared the crease and eventually took over for Jimmy Howard in the postseason. In 29 games he posted a .918 save percentage and posted two shutouts against the Lightning in the postseason against a team that was shutout once all season, by, you guessed it, Mrazek.

The Wings and the Ostrava, Czech Republic native will get a deal done, it just depends on the dollar amount and the term (arbitration award can be 1-2 years). With what Mrazek has displayed thus far in his brief NHL career and with how quickly he rose through Detroit’s system, he will likely cost $4.5 million and above with this short-term award. Depending on his consistency, could go even higher as he reaches his prime. This could depend on what the team decides to do with Howard and his $5.3 million cap hit.

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