Holland looks to Wings' future, deals Mrazek to Flyers
Detroit — The trade deadline got started a little early for the Red Wings.
Late Monday night, Detroit traded goalie Petr Mrazek to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
If the Flyers make the playoffs, and Mrazek wins five games for Philadelphia in the regular season, the fourth-round pick becomes a third-round pick.
If Philadelphia advances to the Eastern Conference Finals, and Mrazek wins six playoff games, the third-round pick becomes a second-round pick.
The 2019 conditional pick comes to the Red Wings only if the Flyers re-sign Mrazek.
The Red Wings also retain half of Mrazek’s $4 million salary this season.
2017-18 DETROIT RED WINGS SCHEDULE
The Flyers became a likely destination for Mrazek after both of their goalies were injured in the past couple of weeks, including Michal Neuvirth (lower body) on Sunday in a game against the New York Rangers.
“Not a lot of teams are looking for goalies,” general manager Ken Holland said Tuesday morning. “In the last few days Philadelphia had a couple of injuries to their goaltenders.
“The ultimate goal here is to build a team that can compete for a Stanley Cup. Given the rules of the CBA, it’s really a draft pick league and I’m trying to acquire more draft picks and give our scouting staff more opportunities to find the types of players we need to be the team we envision down the road.
“This was an opportunity to acquire futures.”
Mrazek appeared in 22 games this season, starting 18 of them. Mrazek has an 8-7-3 record with three shutouts and a 2.89 goals-against average, with a .910 save percentage.
Mrazek helped the Red Wings defeat Nashville on Saturday, 3-1, but lost Sunday to Toronto when Auston Matthews scored with 30 seconds remaining in regulation.
Mrazek, 26, is a prospective restricted free agent who the Red Wings likely wouldn’t have qualified at his $4 million salary, which would have made him an unrestricted free agent.
“I can’t read the future,” Holland said. “I have to make decisions before Monday (trade deadline). If he continues to play well, that’s reading the future and there’s not a person on the planet that can read the future.
“I have to make decisions based on the information on hand.
“I’ve had an opportunity to watch Petr, we’ve all watched him for a number of years, and he can get on a roll and he’s on a roll right now. I can’t read what the next 25 games will bring. I had to make a decision yesterday and I made that decision.”
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A 2010 fifth-round draft pick, Mrazek appeared in 166 games with the Red Wings with a 72-58-20 record.
The Red Wings called up Jared Coreau from Grand Rapids on Tuesday to pair with Jimmy Howard the rest of the regular season.
The Red Wings are expected to deal defenseman Mike Green before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Green is a potential unrestrictred free agent on July 1.
Holland said he will aggressively look to make moves, but said it’s important to have a competitive team, also.
“We have to slowly move young players onto our team, but there has to be a veteran presence to teach those young players how to play,” Holland said. “To be competition for those young players for ice time. I don’t believe in entitlement.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of teams. I’m open to talking a lot of things. The reality is most of it doesn’t happen. But over the next year or two we need to acquire more futures and we need those futures to get better.”
Mrazek made it to Philadelphia on Tuesday in time for the Flyers’ morning skate at the Wellls Fargo Center.
“Yeah, I’m excited,” Mrazek said about the trade, to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Boruk. “A couple of months ago I had a good conversation with Ken Holland about it and he said if he had a good opportunity to do it, he was going to try and move me. I was really happy.”
Mrazek also talked about his competition with Jimmy Howard in Detroit.
“The pressure for both of us was pretty high,” he said. “You have to show up every night if you want to play the next game. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s a really good thing when we can battle between goalies and do the best that we can. Sometimes when they say, ‘You’re the guy who’s gonna play for a while,’ I think it’s better.”