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Mrazek traded to Flyers by Red Wings

Detroit receives draft picks for goalie, who can become RFA on July 1

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Goalie Petr Mrazek was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers by the Detroit Red Wings on Monday for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

"We're excited to obtain Petr Mrazek," Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall said. "Petr is a proven NHL goaltender, and given the situation we're in, we needed a proven goaltender."

Mrazek, 26, is 8-7-3 with a 2.89 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 22 games (18 starts) this season.

 

[RELATED: Fantasy Buzz: Impact of Mrazek Trade to Flyers]

 

In the past week, the Flyers lost their top two goalies, Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth, to injury.

Neuvirth sustained a lower-body injury during the first period of a 7-4 win at the New York Rangers on Sunday. He will be out 4-6 weeks.

That came after the Flyers announced Feb. 13 that Elliott had surgery to repair a core muscle injury and would be out 5-6 weeks.

Alex Lyon, who was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League after Elliott was injured during a shootout at the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 10, relieved Neuvirth against the Rangers. He made 25 saves on 26 shots for his first NHL victory, but it was the fourth game in the League for the 25-year-old rookie.

The Flyers (70 points), who play the Montreal Canadiens at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV), are tied with the New Jersey Devils for third place in the Metropolitan Division, four points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for second. Since ending their 10-game losing streak (0-5-5) with a win against the Calgary Flames on Dec. 4, the Flyers are 22-8-3, their 47 points third in the NHL behind the Boston Bruins (52 points) and Vegas Golden Knights (47) in that span.

"Our players have worked hard for a long time and I didn't think it was fair to not have a proven NHL goaltender for this team," Hextall said. "That's the reason we acted."

Mrazek is 72-58-20 with a 2.60 GAA and .912 save percentage in six NHL seasons, all with Detroit, and 4-6 with a 1.88 GAA and .931 save percentage in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Video: TOR@DET: Mrazek makes pad save in opening minute

Hextall said last week he was willing to ride the tandem of Neuvirth and Lyon, despite Neuvirth's injury history and Lyon's inexperience.

Neuvirth missed nine games from Dec. 6-23 because of a lower-body injury, and in three seasons with the Flyers, he has missed 57 games because of injuries. He was making his fourth start in eight days in place of Elliott when he was injured against the Rangers.

"Alex did a good job [against the Rangers]," Hextall said. "We have a lot of confidence in Alex. But to have Alex be the guy at this point would be an awful lot for a young player. So we felt this was a prudent move for the sake of our team."

Mrazek is in the final season of a two-year contract and can become a restricted free agent July 1. After announcing Elliott's surgery, Hextall said if he was going to trade for a goaltender, it likely would be for one with no remaining term.

Elliott and Neuvirth are signed through next season, and the Flyers are very high on goaltending prospects Carter Hart, who plays for Everett of the Western Hockey League, and Felix Sandstrom, who is with HV 71 in the Swedish Hockey League.

The Flyers didn't have much depth behind Lyon. Dustin Tokarski, Lyon's partner with Lehigh Valley, has 34 games of NHL experience, but his most recent NHL game was Oct. 28, 2016, when he played 9:47 in relief for the Anaheim Ducks. Anthony Stolarz, who had a 2.07 GAA in seven games for the Flyers last season, was activated Monday from the injury/non-roster list and assigned to Lehigh Valley. He has been recovering from Sept. 7 surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee, and Hextall said he has not participated in a full practice.

The fourth-round pick in 2018 can become a third-round pick if the Flyers reach the playoffs and Mrazek wins five games, Hextall said. It can become a second-round pick if the Flyers reach the Eastern Conference Final and Mrazek wins six playoff games. If the Flyers sign Mrazek to a contract, they will send the Red Wings their third-round pick in the 2019 draft.

"I think [the trade is] fair and reasonable for both sides," Hextall said. "If Petr performs, we pay more, Detroit gets more. If he doesn't, then they still get paid and it costs us a certain amount but it's not overpaid. If we do have success and we pay, it's good for us and good for Detroit. I like the makeup of this deal. It's a fair deal, and I think both teams got what they wanted."

The Red Wings (24-25-9, 57 points) are seven points behind the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders in the race for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

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