The Red Wings and goaltender Petr Mrazek have exchanged their arbitration numbers in advance of Wednesday’s scheduled hearing and suffice it to say, there is quite a gap between the two sides. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Detroit has submitted a two year offer worth $2.7MM in year one and $3.15MM in year two. Meanwhile, Mrazek has countered with a two year pact worth $5MM in both seasons.
Last season was a career year for the 24 year old Mrazek. He became Detroit’s starting goalie for most of the year, playing in 54 games. He compiled a 27-16-6 record with a 2.33 GAA and a .921 SV% with four shutouts. Mrazek ranked in the top half league-wide in terms of wins (T-13th), GAA (13th), and SV% (T-10th) among goalies that played at least 30 games which filters out most backup netminders.
Mrazek doesn’t have a whole lot of NHL experience under his belt in his career though as he has just a total of 94 career appearances. That makes this a particularly intriguing case as Mrazek is looking to earn starters money while being a #1 for basically just one full season. It also has a lot to do with the sizable gap in the two offers.
While it has no bearing on the arbitration case itself, it’s worth noting that the Red Wings have Jimmy Howard under contract for three more years at a cap hit just shy of $5.3MM. Their willingness or lack thereof to have both goalies on big money, multi-year deals could very likely impact contract negotiations.
Of the players in this process, Mrazek was the only player to not file for arbitration. Instead, Detroit opted to take him to arbitration. Players can only be subject to club-elected arbitration once in their careers so the Wings cannot pursue this route again in future offseasons.
2015-16: 54 GP, 27-16-6 record, 2.33 GAA, .921 SV%, 4 shutouts
Career: 94 GP, 49-27-6 record, 2.29 GAA, .920 SV%, 9 shutouts
Jake Allen (St. Louis) – Four years, $17.4MM ($4.35MM AAV) – commencing in 2017-18
2015-16: 47 GP, 26-15-3 record, 2.35 GAA, .920 SV%, 6 shutouts
Career: 99 GP, 57-26-7 record, 2.34 GAA, .915 SV%, 11 shutouts
Frederik Andersen (Toronto) – Five years, $25MM ($5MM AAV) – commencing in 2016-17
2015-16: 43 GP, 22-9-7 record, 2.30 GAA, .919 SV%, 3 shutouts
Career: 125 GP, 77-26-12 record, 2.33 GAA, .918 SV%, 6 shutouts
Corey Crawford (Chicago) – Three years, $8MM ($2.67MM AAV) – from 2011-12 to 2013-14
2010-11: 57 GP, 33-18-6 record, 2.30 GAA, .917 SV%, 3 shutouts
Career as of ‘10-‘11: 65 GP, 34-21-7 record, 2.33 GAA, .917 SV%, 5 shutouts
(The salary cap is $9.7MM higher now than it was at the time the deal was signed. In 2011, Crawford’s deal was 4.5% of the cap. 4.5% of the current salary cap is roughly $3.3MM.)
Devan Dubnyk (Edmonton) – Two years, $7MM ($3.5MM AAV) – from 2012-13 to 2013-14
2011-12: 47 GP, 20-20-3 record, 2.67 GAA, .914 SV%, 2 shutouts
Career as of ‘11-‘12: 101 GP, 36-43-13 record, 2.85 GAA, .910 SV%, 4 shutouts
(The salary cap is $13MM higher now than it was at the time the deal was signed. In 2012, Dubnyk’s deal was 5.8% of the cap. 5.8% of the current salary cap is roughly $4.25MM.)
Jaroslav Halak (St. Louis) – Four years, $15MM ($4.25MM AAV) – from 2010-11 to 2013-14
2009-10: 45 GP, 26-13-5 record, 2.40 GAA, .924 SV%, 5 shutouts
Career as of ‘09-‘10: 101 GP, 56-34-7 record, 2.61 GAA, .919 SV%, 9 shutouts
(The salary cap is $13.6MM higher now than it was when the deal was signed. In 2010, Halak’s deal was 6.3% of the cap. 6.3% of the current salary cap is roughly $4.6MM.)
The above players are at least somewhat comparable both in terms of their platform (most recent) season as well as their career numbers. One other short-term contract comparable doesn’t have the ideal platform year to compare to but the career numbers are quite similar.
Tuukka Rask (Boston) – One year, $3.5MM – for the 2012-13 season
2011-12: 23 GP, 11-8-3 record, 2.05 GAA, .929 SV%, 3 shutouts
Career as of 2011-12: 102 GP, 47-35-11 record, 2.20 GAA, .917 SV%, 11 shutouts
(The salary cap is $13MM higher now than it was at the time the deal was signed. In 2012, Rask’s deal was 5.8% of the cap. 5.8% of the current salary cap is roughly $4.25MM.)
The submissions show the difference in where each side feels Mrazek is. Detroit appears to want Mrazek to take more of a ‘prove it’ contract at a rate closer to that of a platoon goalie. Meanwhile, Mrazek and his reps feel that after a couple of years of above average goaltending (one as a starter, the other as more of a backup) that he’s worthy of the bigger ticket contract.
The comparables seem to favor Mrazek here. Goalies with basically one year as a starter and roughly 100 games of career NHL experience are getting sizable contracts in their post-bridge deals so it’s conceivable that Mrazek will get one here too. It’s going to be a two year contract at Mrazek’s request (since it was club-elected arbitration) and we project he’ll receive a deal that will line up with many of the comparables here. We project a contract where he’ll earn $4MM in year one and $4.25MM in year two for a cap hit of $4.125MM.