The National Hockey League Entry Draft is only a few days away and as a result you can expect trade chatter to pick up considerably around the league. We've already had one rather significant trade today, and now a pair of Chicago Blackhawks insiders have indicated that the Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs could soon be discussing a trade of their very own.
The Maple Leafs signed veteran goaltender Petr Mrazek to what now looks like something of an ill-advised deal in the summer of 2021. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas would give Mrazek a 3 year contract worth $11.4 million, working out to an average annual value and salary cap hit of $3.8 million per season. Mrazek now still has 2 more years remaining on that contract and it is a poorly kept secret that the Leafs would like to unload his cap hit, something that is likely to cost them dearly.
In a recent article published for the Athletic by Blackhawks insiders Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers, the two veteran reporters indicated that they expect Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson will soon be discussing this very topic with the Maple Leafs.
The Blackhawks could begin addressing their goaltending situation this week. Look for Davidson to have discussions with the Toronto Maple Leafs about taking on goalie Petr Mrazek and his contract in exchange for draft picks and/or prospects.
The Blackhawks are heading towards what many believe will be a long and difficult rebuild, so taking on a bad contract like this while stockpiling assets for the future does make sense. That being said it will be a tough sell to the Blackhawks' fan base given Mrazek's less than stellar performance last season. Over 20 appearances for the Leafs Mrazek would record a 3.34 goals against average and an .888 save percentage.
That being said Mrazek has always been something of a streaky netminder, so perhaps he could find a way to regain his form with a new roster around him.
A trade of this nature would likely have to materialize prior to the draft, which only leaves a few days for the two sides to get something done.