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Questions For Khan

Ansar Khan of Mlive answers a few questions...

Q: With Mrazek coming off it for a while now, will this change their off-season plans on what they'll do with Howard and how much they'll sign (Mrazek) for? Any chance they'll look to trade Mrazek, who would be easier to deal and would fetch more?

A: I imagine it throws a monkey wrench into their plans. I expected they would sign Mrazek, a restricted free agent, to a long-term deal (4-5 years) for more than $4 million a season and look to trade Howard.

Now, I think they ink Mrazek to a two-year bridge deal for less and hang onto Howard just in case. Moving Howard this summer would have been difficult anyway since he has three years remaining at a $5.3 million cap hit and there will be few teams in the market for a starting goalie.

The Red Wings probably would have needed to retain a chunk of his salary or take back a contract they ordinary wouldn't want.

Unless something changes over the next week and, if they make it, in the playoffs, I think Howard and Mrazek will be at training camp in September, competing for the starting job.

I doubt they would look to trade Mrazek based on a bad four-to-six week stretch after spending several years developing him. He's young, extremely talented and just needs more experience.

Q: With the defense struggling, why not call-up Robbie Russo? He's been tearing it up in G.R.

A: It's a big leap from the AHL to the NHL, especially for a young defenseman.

Russo has had a terrific year in Grand Rapids (five goals, 32 assists and a plus-45 rating in 62 games). It would be a tough spot putting a rookie defenseman with one year of pro experience into the lineup for a team battling for a playoff spot.

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Comments

PierreC's avatar

i can’t believe we are going back as to who the future goalie is…

If it’s not Mrazek it is certainly not Howard. At his best Howard is still not the goalie this team need.

A bridge deal to Mrazek and a good look at Coreau at the next camp is what this team should do.

And get rid of Howard.

was he particularly good recently ?? i don’t think so.

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/01/16 at 07:04 AM ET

jpellek's avatar

Did Khan manage to block all these people once they asked their questions?

Posted by jpellek on 04/01/16 at 07:20 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Did Khan manage to block all these people once they asked their questions?

Posted by jpellek on 04/01/16 at 08:20 AM ET

Probably.  He will soon exist in a vacuum where he has to answer no questions, and gets no feedback.  Just the way he and the other DIggers doing the same desire

And get rid of Howard.
was he particularly good recently ?? i don’t think so.

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/01/16 at 08:04 AM ET

So by that logic, you have to get rid of Mrazek also, because he’s not been good at all lately.  Your brave new future with Coreau as the starter sounds like a nuclear accident.

Posted by Primis on 04/01/16 at 07:33 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Party line blah blah blah, like Holland had the cahones to trade Howard in the first place.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 04/01/16 at 07:34 AM ET

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I imagine it throws a monkey wrench into their plans. I expected they would sign Mrazek, a restricted free agent, to a long-term deal (4-5 years) for more than $4 million a season and look to trade Howard.

Well, at least this bad streak of Mrazek’s will save Holland from his apparent plan of potentially making the exact same f*cking mistake he made on Howard’s last contract.

Still, Howard needs to be moved.

Posted by Garth on 04/01/16 at 08:17 AM ET

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Howard needs to be moved. Mrazek may not become a top tier goalie, but certainly seems to be more talented than Howard. Also, he can play the puck, which helps our crappy D.
No need to keep Howard’s full salary around (I’m sure Wings will have to eat part of his cap hit in a trade) when it can spent somewhere else.

Posted by George0211 on 04/01/16 at 08:30 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

I love how Khan has essentially done a reverse mind meld with KH, so that he just thinks exactly the same way.  Taking dictation is not reporting, Ansar, just in case you were curious.

Posted by duhduhduh on 04/01/16 at 08:38 AM ET

jpellek's avatar

I don’t think the recent stretch of games will have much impact on Mrazek’s contract. The Wings will want to sign him long-term for the simple fact that a short contract will run into Howard’s if he stays, leaving the Wings with possibly two goalies hitting the UFA market.

My best bet is Mrazek gets a 4-year deal with an increase in salary over each year.

Posted by jpellek on 04/01/16 at 08:38 AM ET

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I completely disagree with anyone suggesting Howard is on our team next camp. See, I think Howard *can* be good, but I think he needs a solid defense in front of him and in all honesty, he needs a change of scenery. RAzor is someone who can succeed with a bad def in front of him and can even excel in certain situations. The dumpster fire that is redwings D, leaves Howard to be awful most of the year. I also think that just because there aren’t “a lot” of teams looking for goaltending, doesn’t mean he can’t be traded. Look at CGY and BUF? I mean, I’m not a genius but I’ve been around long enough to know that trades happen if you want them to, KH is just a fuching awful GM when it comes to trades. I mean, get a pick or something for Howard to get some cap. Don’t sign Helm, Richards, Q, and others, get some cap room, buy Stamkos for 10mil/7 and buy a couple of D… get our D prospects in, they can’t be as bad as our D is now… I just think that Kenny Holland has a nick name, it’s Tic Toc… he has that for a reason. He waits and waits and waits until it’s too late and doesn’t really actively see to make this team a cup contender in the years to come. It starts now, it starts by selling the vets, trading some players and getting in more prospects and (yes we will suck and lose a couple of years until we start getting better.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 04/01/16 at 08:39 AM ET

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Keeping Howard would once again be the wrong move. Moving him is the bold move to make. There are ALWAYS risks involved in decisions but if no risks are taken, there is never a reward.

I think Mrazek will be fine. He’s still young and learning to find consistency but they should think about carrying both salaries when that can be used to improve the team at another position. Find another veteran backup. There is bound to be at least one available. If Mrazek falters long term, deal with that problem then.

It’s too bad Chelios may not want to be an assistant. I always thought that was his track. Maybe in a couple more years. They are probably going to want to fill Granato’s spot with someone with NHL credentials. Why? Because he might be the one that takes over if Blashill can’t get a better performance during the first half of next year.

Posted by evileye on 04/01/16 at 08:51 AM ET

PierreC's avatar

And get rid of Howard.
was he particularly good recently ?? i don’t think so.

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/01/16 at 08:04 AM ET

So by that logic, you have to get rid of Mrazek also, because he’s not been good at all lately.  Your brave new future with Coreau as the starter sounds like a nuclear accident.

Posted by Primis on 04/01/16 at 08:33 AM ET

Mrazek is 24..can still improve, Howard is 32 cannot improve…
 
I’d give another try with mrazek, his thing is mental..

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/01/16 at 08:52 AM ET

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My theory on goaltenders has always been this: you either have a stud goaltender and pay him $5 mil+ or you just get by with average goaltenders that are normally easy to find in the open market and pay them $2 mil or less and spend elsewhere. We can debate all day long if Howard is average or above average (or below average), but he is not a stud. So keeping him and paying him $5 mil does not make any sense to me. Until recently I thought we have a stud in Mrazek, but recent struggles gave me a pause. So, ideally you sign him to a bridge contract, trade Howard and either bring up Careau or just get some experienced UFA backup at less than $2 mil.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/01/16 at 08:59 AM ET

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I think Razor is fine, he will improve. Just needs more experience and how can we blame the goaltenders too much when we have *#$%@& awful defense, like Max wearing the C standing in front of Howard? wtf??? OUR d is awful.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 04/01/16 at 09:05 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Until recently I thought we have a stud in Mrazek, but recent struggles gave me a pause. So, ideally you sign him to a bridge contract, trade Howard and either bring up Careau or just get some experienced UFA backup at less than $2 mil.

Look back at Carey Price over the last few years.  When he was around Mrazek’s age, there was lots of brilliance dotted with slumps, but in the last two to three years the consistency has come.  He’s probably the best goaltender in the league now.

Posted by duhduhduh on 04/01/16 at 09:17 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Mrazek is 24..can still improve, Howard is 32 cannot improve…
I’d give another try with mrazek, his thing is mental..

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/01/16 at 09:52 AM ET

The NHL of the last decade is also littered with Mrazeks who came in strong and bright, and then quickly faded to mediocrity.  Some of them eventually manage to bounce back, many do not.

Kenny Holland is backwards in many of his ideas lately, but the notion that you need two NHL-capable goalies on roster is the one you can honestly \ find the least fault with.

Again, look at Montreal after losing Price.  That’s all the proof you need.

Posted by Primis on 04/01/16 at 09:18 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Just my humble opinion, I would have Hasek work with Mrazek this off-season.

Certainly cannot hurt.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/01/16 at 09:19 AM ET

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I would have Hasek work with Mrazek this off-season.

Isn’t Hasek style too unorthodox and unique to be a good teaching tool?

Posted by VPalmer on 04/01/16 at 09:22 AM ET

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I would have Hasek work with Mrazek this off-season.

Isn’t Hasek style too unorthodox and unique to be a good teaching tool?

I think Hasek working with Mrazek would be amazing for him. 1. No one can emulate Hasek’s style and I don’t think that would be the goal. But 2. How awesome would it be for Mrazek’s confidence, Hasek is his idol.

I think that would be best, especially if Howard is gone. Then Mrazek will have no doubts he is #1 and Hasek working with him could get him ready to step into that role confidently.

Posted by redwings_lifer on 04/01/16 at 09:38 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Isn’t Hasek style too unorthodox and unique to be a good teaching tool?

You can’t teach his batshit crazy style, but he’s as tough of a competitor as they come and has a lot to share from the mental aspect of the game I’d think. I can’t ever recall seeing Dom have the same body language Mrazek’s shown lately and Dom played for teams that were worse than the Wings are of late.
I really hope this is just a bump in the road and he can iron these wrinkles out. Given the immediate future and probable lack of roster upgrades, this team needs a true #1 to count on.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 04/01/16 at 09:39 AM ET

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I’m not too worried about Mrazek.  For as bad as the “goaltending” has been of late, both Mrazek and Howard have been victimized a lot by terrible D in front of them and by really bad puck luck.

Look at the last game against Montreal, does Mrazek deserve the blame for either of the goals he let in?  One was a drastic tip that completely changed the speed and direction of the puck to the point where Mrazek had no chance, and on the second one he fought through a sea of bodies in front of him to make a first save, then none of the D were able to clear the puck or the opponents away.

Same thing has happened to both goalies on a lot of occasions on the back half of the season.

And I’m not just letting Mrazek off the hook, I know he hasn’t been as good as he was before February and he’s had some genuinely bad games, but there are a lot of times that he wasn’t to blame for a lot of what gets past him.

Posted by Garth on 04/01/16 at 10:05 AM ET

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For as bad as the “goaltending” has been of late, both Mrazek and Howard have been victimized a lot by terrible D in front of them and by really bad puck luck.

Mrazek’s angles and rebound control in March has been the worst I’ve seen from him.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/01/16 at 10:13 AM ET

nEgativezEro's avatar

My theory on goaltenders has always been this: you either have a stud goaltender and pay him $5 mil+ or you just get by with average goaltenders that are normally easy to find in the open market and pay them $2 mil or less and spend elsewhere.
Posted by VPalmer on 04/01/16 at 09:59 AM ET

It’s a tricky line to walk as far as goaltenders are concerned. Very similar to pitchers in baseball. If you find a good, consistent one they are worth every penny. (Lundqvist, Price, Rask). The biggest issue is they can just fall off the map completely with no warning. Howard was flirting with elite status when he signed his extension (yes, the team in front of him was part of that, but I digress). Guys like Cam Ward come in a look amazing, win a Stanley Cup, then end up being horrible for years, getting paid like crazy. The biggest issue is term. It seems to be foolish to sign a goalie for more than 3 years, unless it’s a Lundqvist type talent. Of course any starting goalie wants longer than a 3 year deal, so you have to figure out to bridge that gap.

Posted by nEgativezEro on 04/01/16 at 10:40 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

i can’t believe we are going back as to who the future goalie is…

Howard is playing good for the same 4-6 weeks, BS.

Everyone is blabbing out Mrazek stats but NO Howard stats for the same period.

I honestly haven’t seen Howard ever play at Petr’s level since Mr Hook Blashill started pulling both goalies early.  Yes I blame Blashill, stop messing around with the Goalies, you are messing enough up alraedy!

Really upset this AM with the idiotic line changes, Smith going through exactly what Marchy went through, and useless piece of crap Ericsson still in the lineup.

Blashill doesn’t have the Balls to coach Vets yet.  I don’t mind Howie starting as the Wings will lose with either of them. Hasek??  Um don’t think anyone can learn from his one and only style.

I will watch and Howard will make me nervous but that has been going on for a few years

Z and other Vets overused and gassed and NO DEFENSE.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 04/01/16 at 10:54 AM ET

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It’s a tricky line to walk as far as goaltenders are concerned

You have a valid argument there, but I think if you have 2-3 years worth of data, you can make an educated decision if your goalie is a stud or not. And, of course, you can get it wrong. But Howard’s work in the playoffs never gave me any confidence he could be elite.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/01/16 at 11:06 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Just my humble opinion, I would have Hasek work with Mrazek this off-season.

Certainly cannot hurt.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/01/16 at 10:19 AM ET

We may still lose, but at least we’ll get to see opposition players doing more somersaults.

https://youtu.be/J8M2SNe6siA

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/01/16 at 11:37 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

“But Howard’s work in the playoffs never gave me any confidence he could be elite.” — VPalmer.

I’ve always liked playoff Howard, when did you dislike him?

* The post-season he started with the shutout against BOS?
* The post-season before that when his Sv% in his 14gms was .925?

Posted by alwaysaurie on 04/01/16 at 11:44 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Everyone can say move Howard move Howard move Howard, but if Holland can’t find a home for him, without having to eat his 1/2 his contract, he may not. 

With Mrazek struggling down the stretch if you move Howard, you need a backup that might have to play a stretch or two, and it would be stupid to shoulder that on Correau next year, let him continue to handle a starter’s load in GR. So your paying a back-up anyway, if that backup costs close to the savings, well than not smart to move him.

I do think if Howard can ride it out this year, that helps his trade value tremendously, especially if he gets us in, and Holland shouldn’t have an issue trading him. If he’s yanked, or flat out fails, than it might be tough.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/01/16 at 12:35 PM ET

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Everyone is blabbing out Mrazek stats but NO Howard stats for the same period.

Even with Mrazek’s recent woes he’s still 11 in the league in save percentage and 14th in GAA, versus Howard who is 43rd in both stats.

Posted by Garth on 04/01/16 at 12:57 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Don’t forget the slimming of equipment for goaltenders next year, puts a premium on an athletic reactionary goalie like Mrazek vs. a fundamental/positional goalie like Howard.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/01/16 at 01:15 PM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

Does anyone else think that a goalie coaching change could be in order or just me?

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 04/01/16 at 03:39 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.