Will the Red Wings trade Jimmy Howard? Or Petr Mrazek? Right at the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline, or before? And, which teams are even interested? The questions are becoming more prevalent as the trade deadline approaches — even more so, than for the past 18-24 months. The Red Wings seemingly have two starting goaltenders and a trade has never materialized, with the Red Wings investing almost $10 million — Howard, one year remaining at $5.29 million and Mrazek, $4 million and can be a restricted free agent July 1 — in the position. Is the logjam about to be alleviated? That was an interesting thought Wednesday morning, with news that Mrazek would make his third start in the last four games later against the San Jose Sharks. Were the Red Wings, in essence, showcasing Mrazek for any interested teams? “Not for me, not one bit,” said coach Jeff Blashill, of the possibility of showcasing. In Blashill’s mind, Mrazek was rewarded for a string of good performances. Mrazek entered Wednesday’s game with 5-5-2 record in 16 total appearances, with a 3.01 goals-against average and .906 save percentage and three shutouts. Mrazek posted back-to-back shutouts over Chicago (Jan. 14) and New Jersey (Jan. 22) and in the process, put together a career-best 145-minute, 5-second shutout streak. Mrazek had also won three of his last five decisions (3-1-1) heading into Wednesday, and with the regular season quickly coming to an end, the Red Wings desperately need victories for any dream of making the playoffs. “Petr’s played pretty well lately, he’s gotten us points,” said Blashill, who in the next breath, stressed his confidence in both goalies. “I have tons of faith in both of them and we’re trying to win hockey games. We want to win tonight’s game and put ourselves in better position to be a playoff team.” The main issue, when thinking about the trade deadline, is the lack of contending teams with any sort of goaltending issues. The New York Islanders have been the most obvious candidate in need of a goaltending upgrade, but the Islanders haven’t indicated they’re aggressively looking for a goaltender.
Petr Mrazek at center of trade rumors swirling around Red Wings goalies
Detroit News | Feb 1