There was a changing of the guard in the crease for the Red Wings during the playoffs as Petr Mrazek surpassed Jimmy Howard as the top goaltender in Detroit. Mrazek’s solid numbers combined with unreal saves such as this one led to speculation regarding Howard’s future with the team. The trade rumors haven’t been squashed entirely, but they have been quieted some now that Howard has reiterated that he won’t request a trade and looks forward to competing for the top job in training camp.
Jimmy Howard says he won't request trade. Looks forward to competing for starting job in Red Wings training camp.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) May 1, 2015
It sounds like Howard is handling Mrazek’s strong play extremely well, but it’s important to remember this is only one part of the story. The Red Wings may have different plans in mind depending on their confidence in Mrazek. Though some teams are capable and willing to roll with a 1A and 1B goaltending duo, those partnerships rarely involve one goaltender carrying a cap hit of over $5 million for the next several years. If the Red Wings truly believe Mrazek is the answer, it’d be difficult to justify Howard’s salary in a limited role.
This will be an interesting story to follow. The Red Wings are clearly excited about Mrazek, but it’s important not to make any quick decisions based on an incredibly small sample of data.