The Toronto Maple Leafs have been dealt a sorry blow between the pipes as goaltender Petr Mrázek is set to miss around four weeks due to injury.
Petr Mrázek has had a difficult start to his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, featuring in just two games to date and he is set to be out for an even longer period after the team placed him on injured reserve.
In an announcement through the team’s official PR social media accounts, Mrázek has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to November 4th and is now unlikely to suit up for the Leafs until at least December.
The 29-year-old goaltender signed a three-year, $3.8 million AAV contract with the Leafs earlier this summer, and looked set to compete with Jack Campbell for ice time after the departure of long-time starter Frederik Andersen, who in turn joined the team that Mrázek had left, the Carolina Hurricanes.
Since the start of the season, the Ostrava native has posted a 1-1-0 record in the two starts he has been handed, posting a 4.20 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage, with his last appearance coming in the 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on October 30th.
The injury is a reoccurrence of the same groin injury he suffered in the Leafs’ 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators back on October 14th, which kept him out for two weeks prior to playing against Detroit.
The loss of Mrázek means that the Leafs will continue to lean on incumbent starter Jack Campbell, who has put in some stellar performances once again this season and looks set to earn himself a new contract in the near future.
Without a legitimate NHL backup behind Campbell, however, it will be a closely monitored situation for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will likely keep Joseph Woll with the team rather than recalling Michael Hutchinson up again.
The 23-year-old Dardenne Prairie, Missouri native has yet to feature in an NHL game, but he could find himself making his debut with the team very soon, with the Leafs set to play two back-to-back games in November.
The hope for the Leafs will be that this stretch of time on IR will allow Mrázek enough time to recover from his injury and put himself in a position to play before the end of the calendar year, with the tough winter schedule a time that teams often rely heavily on their goaltender tandem.
If the Czech goalie’s issues persist, however, it could see the team look at addressing the hole behind Campbell with further moves down the road.