Maple Leafs plan in goal becomes a little clearer after shipping Mrazek to Chicago

MONTREAL — It’s easy to criticize Kyle Dubas’ decision to sign Petr Mrazek to a three-year, $11.4 million contract last summer.
With little salary cap space heading into next season and a $3.8 million hit on a tandem goaltender who had an abysmal first year with the club, the Toronto Maple Leafs GM traded the 30-year-old Czech to the Chicago Blackhawks on Day 1 of the 2022 NHL Draft at Bell Centre.
On the surface, it looks like the Leafs traded another first-round pick to dispose of a problem. In reality, all they did was move down in the draft from No. 25 to 38.
It’s not much of a downgrade and they didn’t have to retain any salary in the deal.
Really, Dubas has Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson to thank for alleviating Toronto’s problem.
Chicago was in a particularly giving mood by making some questionable decisions on Thursday, including trading away 24-year-old forward Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators for draft picks and 21-year-old centre Kirby Dack to the Montreal Canadiens for an identical haul.
The Blackhawks obvious aim to tank is Toronto’s gain and now they’re left with roughly $10.2 in cap space which will be primarily used to help fill their goaltending needs.
Now it’s just a question of how they go about it.
With incumb …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs won’t do absolutely anything to dump Petr Mrazek’s contract

MONTREAL — The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t have a lot salary cap space and have a goaltending problem.
Not only do they have to figure out who their No. 1 goaltender will be for next season as incumbent starter Jack Campbell appears destined to free agent market on July 13, but backup goaltender Petr Mrazek remains under contract for the next two seasons at $3.8 million average annual value.
After an abysmal season in which he posted an .888 save percentage, clearing his contract would have been an easy fix to their salary cap constraints. They placed the Czech goaltender on waivers back in March in an attempt to make space but there were no takers.
It became clear at the time that if the Leafs wanted to unload Mrazek’s contract, that they would have to include a sweetener in some form of deal.
Having had to do that in the past (unloading forward Patrick Marleau’s contract for a first-round pick) the Leafs appear reluctant to do that. In fact, they are still of the mind that a tandem situation works best for their goaltending situation and that can include Mrazek next season.
“I’ve been very happy with Petr and how he’s been in the offseason so far,” Maple Leafs GM Kyle Duba …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation