What If the Toronto Maple Leafs Get Stuck With Petr Mrazek?

Mar 13, 2022; Hamilton, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek (35) comes off the ice after the first period against the Buffalo Sabres in the 2022 Heritage Classic ice hockey game at Tim Hortons Field. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2022; Hamilton, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek (35) comes off the ice after the first period against the Buffalo Sabres in the 2022 Heritage Classic ice hockey game at Tim Hortons Field. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are quite possibly stuck with the Petr Mrazek contract this offseason, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

Mrazek is not a bad goalie. He has a career save percentage of .909 and a goals-against average (GAA) of 2.64. This isn’t Hall of Fame goaltending by any means but it’s perfectly serviceable. If the Toronto Maple Leafs end up stuck with him, it won’t be that bad.

Now don’t get it wrong, he had an absolutely abysmal year last year with the Leafs and many fans have already bought him a ticket straight out of town. He was plagued with injury to boot and posted a .888 save percentage with a 3.34 GAA.

But is this likely to happen again? Well, let’s look at the numbers.

Toronto Maple Leaf and Petr Mrazek

Petr Mrazek is a veteran goalie in this league who has had bad seasons before. However, his worst seasons are consistently followed up by bounce back seasons. For example, he posted a .891 in 2018 and followed that up with a .914 in 2019.

Considering the Leafs finished fourth overall this season with sub .900 goaltending and a GAA of over 3, even Mrazek regressing to his career average of .909  would be a huge boon for the Leafs and all they really need to win their division.

The Colorado Avalanche just won the Stanley Cup with Darcy Kuemper posting a .902 with a 2.57 GAA proving you don’t need Hall of Fame goaltending to win the cup. Just a  +.900 steady presence in net.

Mrazek has proven in his career that he can do all that and then some.

Many fans are fixated on the assets the Leafs will have to give up just to offload Petr Mrazek’s 3.8 million dollar AAV. However, keeping him costs the Leafs absolutely nothing and saves them from having to go out and get a new goaltender.

Is this the direction they will likely  take? No.  But it depends on the cost of unloading the contract.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had Jack Campbell under contract last season for $1.6 million.  They signed Mrazek because they needed a goalie capable of covering the risk of sticking with Campbell.  In order to get the cap hit down, since things were tight last year, they gave him three years.

But you have think the Leafs knew when they did that that they’d likely have to get out of the contract no matter what.  That is because, whether it is Campbell or someone else, the Leafs were always going to need to acquire/sign a starting goalie this season.

And the $4 million cap hit for Mrazek would be impossible to keep with ANY full priced goalie.

But Mrazek basically had the worst season possible, and now getting rid of him is likely much harder than anticipated. At a certain price point, it makes sense to just keep him.

Obviously we have no way of knowing what the market is for Mrazek, but if the Leafs do get stuck with him, it won’t be that bad.