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Kevin’s Morning Hash: Former Red Wing goalie may test free agency; Detroit will keep some UFAs

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Former Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek can be an unrestricted free agent this summer

Former Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek could be looking for a new team this summer after three seasons as the Carolina Hurricanes’ primary goalie.

Mrazek, 29, will be an unrestricted free agent in July. With young Alex Nedeljkovic now NHL-ready, it may be time for Mrazek to see if he can find a No. 1 job elsewhere. Critics have said for a couple of seasons that the ‘Canes need a goaltending upgrade. But the Hurricanes have appreciated Mrazek’s compete level since he arrived in Carolina.

The Hurricanes still want a veteran goalie to play with Nedeljkovic, but they certainly won’t overcommit to Mrazek to keep him. If Mrazek moves on, the Hurricanes will have other options.

If Jonathan Bernier leaves Detroit as a free agent, the Red Wings will be looking for another veteran goalie. But Mrazek wouldn’t be their first choice. The Red Wings were displeased with his attitude when he played in Detroit at the start of his career.  By all accounts, the Hurricanes haven’t had any issue with Mrazek. With age comes maturity.

Social media has churned out debate about whether Mrazek would be a good fit with Jack Campbell as a goalie tandem in Toronto next season.

Mrazek has been banged up this season, and Carolina fans were disappointed in his performance in a 6-4 loss to Tampa Bay in Game 5.

Not every UFA goes to market

Don’t be fooled by the presence of so many unsigned UFAs. Many of these players are unsigned simply because their GMs don’t want to have to protect them in the expansion draft.

You certainly expect the Boston Bruins to re-sign goalie Tuukka Rask and Colorado to keep Philipp Grubauer. Alex Ovechkin will still be a Washington Capital. It’s a good guess that David Krejci will stay in Boston.

In Detroit, it seems probable that Luke Glendening will still be a Red Wing. Plus, there was mutual interest in Marc Staal staying with the team. The Red Wings would certainly like to keep Bernier.

The Red Wings don’t seem to have roster room for anyone else.That means Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, Sam Gagner, Alex Biega and Bobby Ryan would be out. They might consider Ryan or Gagner, depending upon what happens in the expansion draft.

From around the Hockey Now network:

Pittsburgh Penguins: Sources say the team will look for a veteran goalie in the trade or free agent markets. Presuming the Bruins will re-sign Rask, the most enticing free agent goalies could be Freddie Andersen or Linus Ullmark.

Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche’s offseason focus will be signing  defenseman Cale Makar to his second contract. GMs often look for bridge deals, but the Avalanche have every reason to want to tie up Makar long-term.

Florida Panthers: Look for Finland’s Anton Lundell to be the Panthers’ No. 2 center in 2021-22. He’s expected to be headed to South Florida this summer after leading silver medal-winning Finland in scoring at the World Championships with four goals and seven points in 10 games. The former first-round pick, selected 12th in 2020, posted 25 points in 26 games this past season in the Finnish League.

Boston Bruins: Trailing 3-2 in their best-of-seven series, the Bruins lost goalie Tuukka Rask and forward Curtis Lazar to injury in their Game 5 loss. The Bruins are also complaining about the officiating in the series.

“We’re playing a team that has a very respected management and coaching staff over there…they’ve won [Cups],” Boston Coach Bruce Cassidy said. “But I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints than the New York Islanders. They play hard and they play the right way,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “But I feel like we play the same way. The exact calls that are getting called on us do not get called on them and I don’t know why.

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