Mrazek signs two-year, $8.5M extension with Blackhawks
Mrazek's new deal runs through the 2025-26 season and carries a salary-cap hit of $4.25 million. He is 12-17-1 with a .907 save percentage and 3.01 goals-against average ahead of Wednesday night's game at Seattle.
“It's something that we're trying to change here, the culture and everything, and it's been fun for me, playing every night and being healthy, feeling good about yourself, and having good games. It definitely helps,” Mrazek said. “But No. 1 thing for me is to turn things around here as a team and start winning games soon.”
The rebuilding Blackhawks have been one of the NHL's worst teams this season, but they have handed out three similar contracts to veteran players since Jan. 12. Nick Foligno agreed to a two-year deal with a $4.5 million salary-cap hit, and fellow forward Jason Dickinson received a two-year contract with an average annual value of $4.25 million.
“Going forward, I think there's a lot of young guys that can prove themselves and be in the NHL for a long time and help this franchise to go forward,” Mrazek said, “and we are the ones who are going to try to help them get better and get where they are supposed to be.”
The contracts for Mrazek, Foligno and Dickinson could make for a quiet NHL trade deadline for Chicago, which is already flush with draft capital and prospects. The Blackhawks have plenty of cap space, so they could take on a bad contract in a trade with a contending team.
Mrazek, who turns 32 on Feb. 14, was acquired by Chicago in a July 2022 trade with Toronto. He went 10-22-3 with a 3.66 GAA and .894 save percentage in his first season with the Blackhawks.
“I think last year he had a little bit of injury trouble, and he corrected that,” coach Luke Richardson said. "He had a great finish last year for us, and this year he's been great. He came in in great shape.
“I think we're trying to manage his load so he doesn't get overworked, but the schedule's worked out fine for him and he's played great.”
Mrazek was a fifth-round pick in the 2010 draft and made his NHL debut with Detroit in 2013. He is 162-141-35 with 25 shutouts, a 2.78 GAA and a .907 save percentage in 366 career regular-season games.