The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi broke down the trade market which presents the Philadelphia Flyers opportunities to at least temporarily replace the injured Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth…
Brian Elliott had abdominal surgery and isn’t expected to return until mid-March — and there are no guarantees he will be sharp when/if he gets back.
Neuvirth went down with an injury Sunday, and Hextall has yet to give any specifics or a timetable for his return. Even if Neuvirth can return shortly, his injury-prone nature makes it difficult for the Flyers to count on him for a long stretch.
Hence, Hextall is exploring the trade market. He is reluctant to trade one of the two first-round picks he has in June, and that is understandable. But all other picks should be in play because with the right addition, this could be a fun ride this spring.
Think of it this way: Where would the Eagles have been if both of their top quarterbacks had gone down with a season-ending injury? Would the inexperienced Nate Sudfeld have taken them to the promised land?
Carchidi lists seven potential goaltenders as possible replacements, including two Wings netminders:
Petr Mrazek, Detroit. Hextall has reportedly had talks with the Red Wings about the 25-year-old Mrazek (2.89 GAA, .910 save percentage), who will be a restricted free agent after the season. The Detroit Free Press said the Flyers turned down acquiring Mrazek for a third-round pick, but that was before Neuvirth’s latest injury. Hextall may circle back.
Jimmy Howard, Detroit. The 33-year-old veteran would bring a wealth of experience. He has a 2.83 GAA and .910 save percentage, but he has another year left on his contract ($5.3 million cap hit), so that makes him a longshot. He has a limited no-trade clause.
And MLive’s Ansar Khan also weighs in on the possibility of Mrazek being traded to Philadelphia:
Mrazek has been playing well since mid-January and he’s in the final year of his contract at $4 million. If the Flyers acquired him and didn’t want to keep him beyond this season, they could forego making him a qualifying offer (at $4 million), making him an unrestricted free agent.
The Flyers had no interest in Mrazek last week, when the Red Wings asked for a third-round pick. Detroit also offered them Jimmy Howard, but the Flyers surely didn’t want to part with a high pick (the Red Wings want more for Howard, a first- or a second-round pick). And they wouldn’t want Howard around next season as an expensive backup ($5.3 million cap hit), when Elliott ($2.75 million) and Neuvirth ($2.5 million) are still on the books for one more season.
The Red Wings and Flyers remain in contact.
For now, the Flyers have rookie Alex Lyon, who has four games of NHL experience. They need help in net, and Mrazek would appear to be a good fit.
Mrazek, since Jan. 14, is 5-2-2, with a 2.01 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and two shutouts.
The Flyers have other options. In addition to Mrazek, Philly.com lists Antti Raanta of Arizona, Aaron Dell of San Jose, Robin Lehner (who is injured) and Chad Johnson of Buffalo and Calvin Pickard of Toronto as possibilities.