The Red Wings’ coach and players spoke with MLive’s Ansar Khan about Petr Mrazek’s trade to Philadelphia:
Coach Jeff Blashill said he called Mrazek Monday night to wish him well. Howard said teammates texted him as well.
“Petr and I have been together a long time,” Blashill, who coached Mrazek in Grand Rapids, said. “I’m in this chair because of a number of players and he’s certainly one of them that had big impact on the success we had in Grand Rapids, so for me personally, I just wanted to make sure I called and thanked him for the effort over the years and wish him luck.”
Blashill added: “I think Pete had lots of success on the way up to the NHL, being a competitor and his moxie and I think as the years here went along, I think he realized he had to work at his technique and really work at making that better and I think he’s made a concerted effort. It didn’t always show, but I think over the last little bit it really started to come where his technique was starting to get himself to that spot.”
Howard said the move came as a surprise one sense, but also not that surprising.
“Petr is playing really well and I wish him all the best,” Howard said. “We’ve been together for quite some time, so you get to know someone pretty well. It’s always tough to see them go.”
Howard, who was offered in a trade to the New York Islanders last week, said he doesn’t necessarily feel relief that he’s sticking around (he is).
“I don’t think it’s off anyone’s mind until the trade deadline comes and goes,” Howard said.
Tomas Tatar, one of Mrazek’s closest friends on the team, said: “Obviously, he will be missed. He was here for a long time. He’s a great guy, we all wish him good luck in Philly. They have problems with goalies (injuries) and he can have a good job there. It will be fun to play against him.”