Petr Mrazek (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
It's expected the Detroit Red Wings will take Petr Mrazek to arbirtation after the goaltender did not file for arbitration himself Tuesday afternoon. Teams have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file for arbitration.
The most notable exclusion from the 24 players who filed for salary arbitration Tuesday was Petr Mrazek, but that doesn’t mean the Detroit Red Wings goaltender won’t be included in the process. Sources have told thn.com that the Red Wings will take Mrazek to arbitration before teams are required to file at 5 p.m. (eastern time) Wednesday.
This is a bit of a chess game here. Had Mrazek filed for arbitration, the Red Wings would have been able to choose either a one- or two-year reward. With the Red Wings filing, Mrazek will now have the choice of a one- or two-year award. Regardless, it means Mrazek is guaranteed to have a deal with the Red Wings for at least one season and will be available to the Red Wings for the start of the season. Mrazek is expected to be the Czech Republic’s No. 1 goaltender for the World Cup of Hockey.
It's expected Mrazek's camp will opt for a two-year deal, which is in line with what both sides are seeking. So both sides will get the term they want, and they'll either come to a deal or one will be imposed on them. But, as expected, money will be the main sticking issue. It will be interesting to see what Mrazek’s award will be. Mrazek’s camp would likely look for a deal somewhere in the $5 million range, given that Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals is on a long-term deal worth $6.1 million a year. The Red Wings would likely argue that Mrazek has essentially had one good season and would probably be somewhere in the $3 million to $4 million range.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland has already gone on the record as saying that trading Jimmy Howard would be good for the organization. Howard is entering the fourth of a six-year deal that carries a cap hit of $5.3 million. So if Mrazek were to get $5 million either this summer or next, the Red Wings would be spending more than $10 million on goalies.
The news on Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser, who did file for arbitration Tuesday, is a little brighter and more certain. It’s believed the two sides are close to a multi-year deal somewhere in the $5 million range, although it would likely be a little lower than that on a long-term multi-year deal and higher than that on a two- or three-year deal.
The New York Rangers had the most players file for arbitration Tuesday, with four. Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and Dylan McIlrath all filed. Other notable filings included Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche, whose name has been prominent in trade talks, as well as Kyle Palmieri of the New Jersey Devils, Mike Hoffman of the Ottawa Senators, Brayden Schenn of the Philadelphia Flyers, Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues, Alex Killorn of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Marcus Johansson of the Washington Capitals.
If history is any indication, very few of the players will actually end up going to arbitration and having an award announced. Teams and players have right up until the decision is announced to come to terms on a contract and most of them do. Hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to Aug. 4.