Report: Red Wings and Mrazek far away in negotiations, arbitration looms

Arbitration cases are beginning to be heard and one of the next players on the chopping block is Petr Mrazek. He brings an interesting case to the table given his performance and where he sits currently on the Wings depth chart. Going to arbitration can leave a sour taste in a player’s mouth, will they be willing to take it all the way?

Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the asks for both sides and has been a steady stream of good info this off-season in regard to these arbitration cases.

Surprisingly, the asks on both sides make a lot of sense. Mrazek believes in his limited experiences with the team that he should be given money comparable to his goaltending partner, Jimmy Howard. Howard makes 5.2 million AAV and is supposedly on the move, how quickly? No one really knows. The other comparable for Mrazek is the recent Frederik Andersen deal that the Leafs signed. Their numbers line up very closely across the board and they both have been used in platoon roles in recent seasons.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings with their ask have tried to set a hard line with a bridge deal that seems more than fair. Similar bridge deals of the past paying around the same money include, Carey Price, Corey Crawford and Semyon Varlamov. The most recent comparable would be Eddie Lack who came in around 2.75 million AAV. 

I see both sides of the asks, as they both have a case they can make in front of the arbitrator. The Red Wings are having to penny pinch until Jimmy Howard is gone and until then, they won’t be able to spend big on a net-minder. Holding off on signing Mrazek long term will hurt them and is basically kicking the can further down the road. They need to attack the contract head on now.

The ideal situation for the Wings would be to sign him to a four year deal at a price slightly more than the middle ground. It would take him to his UFA years but it would be a short term investment in a player that you are still not too sure of at this point in time. He could turn into a good trade chip, while also making a fair amount of money. How often does that happen? 

It seems like the middle ground is actually the best place for both sides to end up on. Who would’ve thought?