With Michael Neuvirth going down with a lower-body injury Sunday and Brian Elliott already out until the playoffs at least, the Flyers were desperate for some help in net and it figures to come in the form of Petr Mrazek.
The Flyers acquired Mrazek from Detroit for two conditional picks late Monday night, likely to pan out to just one 2018 third-rounder. The 26-year-old Czech goalie has spent the past six seasons in Detroit and is in the final season of his two-year $8 million extension and becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season, so he figures to be nothing more than a rental player.
Mrazek comes to Philly carrying a .910 save percentage and a 2.89 GAA on his way to an impressive 8-7-3 record for the lackluster Wings this season — and has especially turned up his game since the start of 2018.
The Flyers goalies have been dropping like flies this season and Mrazek can add some much-needed experience and be the fill-in NHL caliber starter that Alex Lyon isn’t quite ready to be.
Just a couple years ago, people in Detroit thought Mrazek might be a franchise caliber goaltender. While he hasn’t quite lived up to those expectations, he’s shown flashes of greatness and has proven when he gets going he can be a force between the pipes.
Overall, the move means the Flyers are in win-now mode.
Hextall has been building this team for the future heavily over the past couple of years, but anyone who’s been paying attention over the past couple weeks can see things starting to come together for the Flyers younger guys.
This team has a chance to make something happen in the playoffs, but without a competent NHL goalie, there was no guarantee they’d even make it to the postseason. With Elliott out, Neuvirth’s status uncertain, and Anthony Stolarz just now coming off a major injury, the deal for Mrazek became a necessity.