After a season spent splitting time with Curtis McElhinney, Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek has made the most of his starts early on.
It’s funny the way things work out. A few years ago, current Carolina Hurricanes’ goalie Petr Mrazek seemed poised to pry the starter’s job in Detroit away from Jimmy Howard. Things didn’t go as planned, Mrazek’s play suffered, and he was eventually dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers a week before the 2018 trade deadline.
I was a little disappointed at the time, since I had hoped the Hurricanes would make a push to acquire the Czech netminder. Remember, the 2017-18 season was Year One of “The Scott Darling Experiment”, a season that saw Cam Ward reclaim the #1 spot due to Darling’s struggles. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, not yet, and Carolina rode their slipshod tandem to another year without the postseason.
Unfortunately, the change of scenery did nothing to help Mrazek’s play. In fact, his play declined to the point that he made only one playoff appearance for the Flyers before hitting the free-agent market. With a chip on his shoulder and the desire to prove that he was an NHL-caliber goalie, he signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Things have worked out pretty well for both parties, but let’s take a look at what led Mrazek to his current role.