With Frederik Andersen appearing to be headed to Carolina, it created an opening between the pipes for the Maple Leafs. It appears that vacancy will be filled by the goalie that Andersen is replacing with the Hurricanes as ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports (Twitter link) that Petr Mrazek is expected to sign a three-year deal with Toronto. TSN’s Darren Dreger adds (Twitter link) the deal will carry a $3.8MM AAV.
Mrazek, 29, has been a strong performer for the Hurricanes over the last three seasons, but certainly isn’t the model of consistency. His career is one of alternating good and bad years, and after posting a .923 in just 12 games, it’s not really clear what he’s bringing to Toronto. There’s no doubt he has the talent to play at a high level in the NHL, but his .910 career save percentage should be a bit concerning for a team that intends to contend in 2021-22.
That inconsistency is perhaps exactly why the Hurricanes are moving on from the netminder, but at least in Toronto he’ll have a capable partner to rely on. The Maple Leafs already have Jack Campbell in place for just $1.65MM, meaning they’ll be spending a combined 5.45MM on goaltending this season. That’s actually less than they have the last several seasons with Andersen and whoever was backing him up at the time and should figure to be a more reliable tandem than anything they had during that period.
Of course, that would be contingent on Campbell and Mrazek staying healthy, not something either has done recently. It’s been several years since Mrazek started more than 40 games in a season and Campbell has never even been a full-time starter, meaning if something goes wrong, the goaltending position could quickly become an issue once again for the Maple Leafs.