F (OT)

Sheldon Keefe has a strong message for Petr Mrazek

Published March 23, 2022 at 11:26

To say the acquisition of goaltender Petr Mrazek by the Toronto Maple leafs has been disappointing would be an understatement. But it appears that Leafs' GM, Kyle Dubas is still hoping Mrazek can turn his season around.

Mrazek was outstanding last season with the Carolina Hurricanes and some questioned the Hurricanes' decision to let him walk, and be signed by the Leafs via Free agency would bite them in the rear. However, Mrazek has been struggling for the Leafs and things got even worse at the wrong time for the Leafs after the news of Jack Campbell being injured. Mrazek is 10-6-0 with the Leafs this season but that's only thanks to the Leafs' offence with Mrazek putting up a brutal 3.46 goals against average and a .894 save percentage.

With their goaltending issues the Leafs tried to acquire Marc Andre Fleury but that didn't end up happening and the Leafs and head coach Sheldon Keefe are hoping that after being put on waivers that this will be a wake up call for Mrazek. They hope he can turn his play around heading into the final stretch of the season.

Keefe went on to say:

I think he's handled it well. I met with him today just to see where he was at and also give him my thoughts of where I think he's at and what it is we need from him going forward here. So I think he's handling it well. I think, if anything, my message to him is that it should be a full reset here. It's a bit of a shock to a player, an established NHL player that goes on waivers. That in itself is a shock. And then he clears waivers it should be even more of a shock that you haven't been nearly good enough. So it's an opportunity for him to really get to work now. That it is real and that we need him to be better. We believe he is a much better goalie and he's proven that in his time in the NHL. That's why we went out and signed him this summer. That's why he got the deal that he got, because he earned that and worthy of it because of his time in the NHL. We need him to get to work and get back to that. So that was my message to him is that he's capable of much better and we do believe in him and it's time for him to get to work and deliver on it.

This could be a huge opportunity for Mrazek, most players don't get a second chance. Now Mrazek, the Leafs, and Leafs Nation are all hoping that Mrazek can be that goaltender the Leafs saw in him when they signed him as a free agent this past summer or this could possibly be a real hurdle in Petr Mrazek's NHL career.

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