On July 28, 2021, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed a three-year contract with now former Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek. The contract was for an AAV of $3.8 million.
Mrazek was signed to work in a 1A and 1B relationship with incumbent Jack Campbell, who took over the goalie job last season when Frederik Andersen was hurt. Sad for Andersen, but it was the break that Campbell needed. His play was so good that he moved away from his reputation as an NHL career backup to a goalie into a situation where he was both capable and comfortable in the starter’s role. He thrived and, in fact, set an NHL record for the most wins to start off an NHL regular season.
The Maple Leafs Essentially Swapped Goalies with the Hurricanes
By signing Mrazek, essentially the Maple Leafs and the Hurricanes swapped goalies. Carolina quickly signed Andersen to a Hurricanes’ contract for $4.5 million for each of two years. The Maple Leafs now head into the 2021-22 NHL season counting not just on a single goalie who gets almost all the starts, but rather being led by a twosome of Mrazek and Campbell.
When the Maple Leafs signed Mrazek, they were seeking both his NHL experience in net but they also liked the fact that he was comfortable sharing the net in a partnership. That’s the reationship he’ll likely have with Campbell.
What Stands Out to Head Coach Sheldon Keefe about Mrazek
In a recent interview, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe shared all the things that stood out for the organization when it was considering its goalie situation; and, finally, when it decided that Mrazek was the right person for the team and the organization.
The video below shows Keefe speaking about Mrazek. In the interview that goes for less than a minute, he shares about Mrazek’s great personality, his playoff success, and his experience sharing the net.
Keefe Shares Six Reasons He Likes the Choice of Mrazek with Campbell
In short, Keefe offered six key reasons why the Maple Leafs were happy to have Mrazek in net to start the season. These are:
Reason #1: Mrazek has established himself as a good goalie in the NHL.
Reason #2: Mrazek has successful NHL playoff experience.
Reason #3: Mrazek has done well sharing the net. From the position of sharing, he can push other Campbell and will have Campbell push him back toward playing better.
Reason #4: Mrazek has a great personality off of the ice. Between he and Campbell, the team has two guys who are confident, comfortable with who they are, and easygoing.
Reason #5: Yet, as he added as a part of the same sentence in Reason #4, Keefe noted that both goalies are also serious and very competitive.
Reason #6: In short, Keefe believed that Mrazek was a really good fit, both for our team and in partnership with Campbell.
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