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2024 Blackhawks Bottom Line

Blackhawks Bottom Line: Petr Mrazek Was Chicago’s MVP

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Over the course of the next month, Chicago Hockey Now will be profiling every Chicago Blackhawks player from the 2023-24 season. Today, will be goaltender Petr Mrazek.

Petr Mrazek
Goaltender
Games Played: 56
(Record – GAA – SV%): 18-31-4, 3.05, .907
Contract Status:  Signed through 2025-26 (UFA)

The Short View

Petr Mrazek came to Chicago so the Toronto Maple Leafs could rid itself of a “bad contract” which included a first-round draft pick that they used to grab Sam Rinzel. Turns out that bad contract turned into the team’s MVP for the 2023-24 season. Without him, things would have been even worse for the Blackhawks.

Many would consider Connor Bedard the MVP of the team which is fair but Mrazek kept them in a lot of games that they had no business being in. Without good goaltending, NHL teams struggle. The Blackhawks had a better goalie performance than a lot of teams much closer to the playoff line.

The Long View

At the start of the season, the Chicago Blackhawks had question marks surrounding Mrazek and his future with the team. His contract was set to expire at the end of this 2023-24 season and an injury history followed him throughout his career.

The Blackhawks re-signed him to a two-year extension.

With a  couple of good goaltending prospects in the system in Drew Commesso and Adam Gajan, neither is ready for the big club–yet. Petr Mrazek can continue being “the guy” for years to come, easing in the heir apparent to the crease. Mrazek is still only 32 years old.

It can’t be overstated how important it is to have a good goaltender on a young hockey team. When mistakes are made, it is much easier to learn from those mistakes if a good netminder is between the pipes. Go watch Jeremy Swayman’s performance in Game 7 last night against a relentless Toronto Maple Leafs attack.

With this extension in place, the Blackhawks know exactly who their starter is next season. With the development of the players around them, Mrazek playing well could get them to a much more respectful record. Being a playoff bubble team might even be in the cards within the next two seasons–if everything lands as it should.

The Bottom Line For Petr Mrazek

Petr Mrazek isn’t likely to be the long-term solution in Chicago. The two-year extension provides security for both the Blackhawks and Mrazek while buying time for Commesso to develop properly. If Mrazek continues to do that at a high level, it will only continue to speed the rebuild up.

Mrazek has a chance to help an up-and-coming group take it to the next level. He earned this opportunity and only time will tell how far he–and the Blackhawks–are able to run with it.

Previous Blackhawks Bottom Line Entries

Seth Jones | Connor Murphy | Ryan Donato | Taylor Raddysh | Joey Anderson Jason Dickinson | Nick Foligno | Nikita Zaitsev | Philipp Kurashev | Jaycob Megna | Jarred Tinordi | Lukas Reichel |

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