The biggest question for Ken Holland and the Detroit Red Wings is their goalie situation moving forward. Jimmy Howard is 33 and has 1 more year left on his five million dollar deal. On the other hand, Petr Mrazek is 25 and is a restricted free agent after this season. At the deadline, Holland will be contemplating whether to move on from the aging Howard and go with the young goalies Mrazek and Coreau. I believe that they should trade Howard this year, and move on by signing Mrazek to a two-year deal. This will allow the organization to see if Mrazek is the goalie for the Wings next playoff run.
One reason the Wings should move on is that Howard has been injury prone for the past few years. Last year Howard only played 26 games because of a nagging groin injury that didn’t allow him to play at the same level before. In 2015 Howard had the same groin injury which put him on the IR. This allowed Petr Mrazek to shine in. After Petr played his best hockey in 2015 he fell off the next year. There were reports that his work ethic wasn’t what the Red Wings wanted to see. Jimmy took his job back after Mrazek struggled but then went down with same groin problem. Therefore if a goalie is aging and can’t stay on the ice that should be a clear indicator to a GM that they need to move on.
The other reason that Petr Mrazek should be the Wings future goalie is his recent surge between the pipes. On the season Mrazek is 7-6-3 with a 2.99 GAA and a 906 save percentage. Over the past 10 games, Mrazek is 5-3-2 which is very impressive due to the lack of defense on the Wings. Petr paired together two shutouts in his last 10 games which have woken Red Wings fans up. After those games, I thought to myself about who will be the goalie for the future. The answer is that I don’t want to jump on the Mrazek bandwagon yet because he could just be hot right now, but the Wings have to make a decision soon because the trade deadline is Feb 26. Therefore the only reason that I want Howard gone is that of his age isn’t ideal, and cant stay on the ice helping his team. Don’t get me wrong fans, Jimmy Howard has had a fantastic year with 2.82 GAA and 911 save percentage. I just think that he has enough trade value to get him on another team and it will be best for the organization to go a different way. Also by trading Howard, it will clear up 5 million on the cap for next season which will be huge. The team is looking to sign Larkin, and Athanasiou this summer. Overall letting Jimmy go to another team will show that this team wants to see what young players can bring.