The Leafs are getting one step closer to having Petr Mrazek back in the lineup after the team reported on Friday morning he would be sent to the Marlies on a conditioning stint.
The Maple Leafs have assigned goaltender Petr Mrázek to the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an LTIR conditioning loan.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) December 3, 2021
Mrazek hasn’t appeared in an NHL game since October 30th and has only appeared in two games since signing a three-year deal with the Leafs at the start of free agent frenzy. The reason for his lengthy absence is largely due to a nagging groin injury that was sustained in his debut start and was re-aggravated in his second game with the team.
The Leafs have been just fine in his absence, given that Jack Campbell is coming off a stellar month of November and Joseph Woll won his first three career starts in convincing fashion. Obviously having a healthy Mrazek would be helpful given his recent track record in Carolina, but it goes to show how much quality depth is at the position in the organization. Of course, we can’t forget about MIchael Hutchinson who has had a decent start to the season with the Marlies. He was recently called up to fill in for an injured Woll, who’s health status long-term remains up in the air.
How many conditioning starts Mrazek ends up getting is up in the air since the Marlies only have one game this weekend due to Saturdays contest being postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak involving the Springfield Thunderbirds. That means this Sunday’s game against the Laval Rockets will likely be Mrazek’s sole AHL start.
Due to COVID protocols involving the Springfield Thunderbirds, their game vs. the #Marlies on Saturday has been postponed.
It’s been rescheduled to January 10th at 7PM.
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) December 1, 2021
In addition to that, there’s also the question of how to best adjust the roster once he and Ilya Mikheyev return from injury, given that the Leafs will be over the salary cap with a healthy roster. Some tough decisions will be made in the coming days that will result in either a trade or a player being sent down to the AHL.
Either way, the Leafs are now one step closer to icing the goaltending tandem they envisioned at the start of free agency.