So a lot of talk has been circling around the Detroit locker room, especially around the goalies. Who will start in net next year? An aged Veteran in Jimmy Howard, who has proven himself over the years but is slowly declining due to injuries, or an up and coming Petr Mrazek, who has made a name for himself in the NHL, showing up against the Lightning in the first round of the playoffs. So there are 3 options here.
1: Keep Howard as the starter and Mrazek as the backup. I can see this maybe happening, but I think Howard only has one more year as a starter in Detroit. Mrazek will no doubt take the reigns in a few years, if not next year.
2: Mrazek takes over as he starter this year, and Howard is kept as a backup. I think this could work very well for Detroit. Kind of like the Brodeur situation. Have a veteran back up a youngster, and give him advice. I think this is the best option for Detroit.
3: Trade Howard. As much as I hate to say it. Its going to happen. Not this year, but in the coming future. If he isn’t starting, he is a very expensive backup, and Detroit has to think of the long term. Dumping his salary may be a good thing. For guys like Nyquist and Tatar, their salaries are just going to go up, as is Mrazek’s. There won’t be a lot of cap room, and Howard’s back up salary is taking up a large chunk of that.
So out of those three options this is what I think will happen:
I think this year is Mrazek’s year. After the way that he performed in the playoffs, it’s his year. Howard will play a year or two behind Mrazek and help him develop. He will then be traded to a team in desperate need of a good goalie (Maybe Buffalo or Arizona), and have a great end of his career, maybe even winning a Vezina. Honestly, I think a change of scenery will be good for him and I think it’s time to move on.