When the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Petr Mrazek last summer, it wasn’t meant to end up looking like this.
The Toronto Maple Leafs gave up on Freddie Andersen and essentially made a one-for-one trade on free agent goalies. In doing so, the Carolina Hurricanes got Freddie and the Leafs got Petr Mrazek and it looked to be a solid deal, especially with one more cheap year of Jack Campbell too.
For the first time in a very long while, it looked like the Maple Leafs had a genuine 1A/1B goaltending tandem.
The unfortunate reality though was that Jack Campbell was the number one and by the season end, Petr Mrazek had been waived and was number three.
In fact, he wasn’t even on the bench for the Leafs first round series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The backup there was NHL newcomer Erik Kallgren. Any time a rookie is able to usurp the veteran of 295 regular season games, questions inevitably need to be asked.
For Mrazek, the issue is as much staying healthy as it is putting in good performances. Those two traits rarely coincided with each other.
On the few occasions he seemed to build a little form, injuries inevitably came to pass. Upon his returns, he seldom looked confident from the get-go. Inconsistent performances were far too common.
All of this would be okay if he wasn’t being paid $3.8 million per season. If his deal was closer to the $1-2 million mark, far less questions might be asked.
However that is not the case and his $3.8 million a season feels like a bit of a boat anchor, especially with the pressing need to find money for multiple contract renewals.
Hence as the Maple Leafs look ahead to next season, they have a decision to make regarding what exactly they do with Petr Mrazek and his overpriced contract.