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The injury bug has definitely hit the Flyers within the past few weeks. The Flyers lost their starting goaltender, Brian Elliott, on February 10th. The later found out that he would miss 5-6 weeks after receiving core muscle surgery. He was injured in the 4-3 shootout win versus the Arizona Coyotes. Michael Neuvirth replaced Elliott in in the shootout to secure the Flyers’ win. They would then turn to Neuvirth to take the starting goaltending position. Their last game versus the Rangers, Neuvirth let up 3 goals in the 1st period and would not return after that. He left the game with a lower-body injury forcing the Flyers to use Alex Lyon and he did not disappoint, only giving up one goal on 26 shots giving the Flyers a 7-4 victory, as well as, his 1st career NHL win. The Flyers later would find out that Michel Neuvirth will now miss 4-6 because of that lower-body.
With the trade deadline vastly approaching, the Flyers were in desperate need to acquire a goalie. On Monday night, the Flyers did just that. They received goaltender, Petr Mrazek, from the Detroit Red Wings. The 26-year old Mrazek, 6’2” and 181lbs, was sent over to the Flyers for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Mrazek will also be a restricted free agent at the end of the year. Now, earlier this year the Red Wings offered the Flyers Mrazek for a third-round pick but, the Flyers rejected the offer. In light of recent injuries, the Flyers had to revisit the deal. Except, this time they had to give up two draft picks but, there are stipulations with the draft picks.
The 2018 draft pick can go as high as a second-round pick but, no lower than a fourth-round pick if these situations occur: Mrazek wins 5 games in the regular season and the Flyers make the playoffs, the fourth-round draft pick will become a third-rounder. If Mrazek wins 6 playoff games and the Flyers make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, then the third-round pick will become a second-round pick. Now, the only way the Red Wings will receive the conditional third-round pick in 2019 is if the Flyers resign Mrazek.
Mrazek was drafted in 2010 by Detroit with the 141st overall pick in the 5th round. He didn’t play with the Red Wings until the 2012-2013 season, where he 1-1 with 4 goals against and 51 saves. Mrazek has been a solid back up for Jimmy Howard who has also been and injury prone goaltender throughout his career. His career numbers are a record of 72-58-20, with a goals against average (GAA) of 2.60 and a save percentage (SV%) of .912. So far, this season he has a record of 8-7-3, with a GAA of 2.89 and a SV% of .910. He also has three shutouts this year. Mrazek brings in a great veteran presence and, in my opinion, will be a huge help for the rookie Alex Lyon. Mrazek, also just turning 26, is young enough to where if he performs well for the team it wouldn’t be a bad idea to resign him and keep the goalie duo of Lyon and Mrazek.
Mrazek is with the team now and is participating in practice but, being that their next game is tonight against the Canadiens, Lyon will get the start. But, he could very well make his for start for the Flyers on Thursday versus the Blue Jackets. Will the Flyers make any more moves with the trade deadline being February 26th at 3 p.m.? It will be an interesting week going into it so stay tuned!
Lead NHL and Philadelphia Flyers Content Contributor