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Mrazek to enter training camp as No. 1 goalie

Red Wings GM Holland says 24-year-old 'can play more at some point in time'

NHL.com @NHL

Petr Mrazek will enter training camp in September as the Detroit Red Wings' No. 1 goalie, general manager Ken Holland told The Fan 590's "Hockey Central at Noon" on Monday.

Mrazek can become a restricted free agent July 1.

"Petr Mrazek is our No. 1 guy as we head into training camp, but he's [24] years of age," Holland said. "I think he can play more at some point in time. Is it this year? I guess what I'm saying is you need two goaltenders. I have to sit and negotiate a deal with Petr Mrazek and his agents. We'll sit down as we go along here over the next week or 10 days we'll see where we go with our goaltending."

Video: DET@TBL, Gm5: Mrazek gloves Garrison's one-timer

Mrazek went 27-16-6 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .921 save percentage while appearing in an NHL career-high 54 games this season, but may not be ready for a larger workload at this stage of his development.

"There's a small group of goaltenders, they're workhorses, they can play 70 games a year and can continue to play at a certain level over a period of time because of their age, because of their ability, because of their experience, because of a lot of things," Holland said. "We're hoping Petr can develop into that, but Peter's [24].I think it's unfair to Petr, it's unfair to the organization, and it could possibly be detrimental, if we put Petr in a situation where we're just going to throw him out and play 70 games and no matter how you play we're going to keep putting you out. I don't think that's player development. You have to put your players into a situation to succeed."

Veteran Jimmy Howard, 32, is signed through 2018-19 at an annual NHL salary-cap charge of $5,291,666, according to GeneralFanager.com. Howard was 14-14-5 with a 2.80 GAA, .906 save percentage in 37 appearances, but started 10 of the final 12 games before the Red Wings made the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the second-to-last day of the regular season.

Howard also started the first two games of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning before Mrazek started the final three. The Red Wings were eliminated in five games.

"Having a really good backup and a really good second goalie to go along with Petr Mrazek as an insurance for Petr to give him nights off is in the best interests of Petr Mrazek and it's the best interests of the Detroit Red Wings," Holland said. "Jimmy Howard provides that. As you look at our goaltending, Petr Mrazek played about 50 games this year and the wheels came off a little bit in the middle of February and we kept trying to give him an opportunity. Jimmy Howard really came in and, I thought, really saved our season when our season was on the line."

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