In separate free-agent deals, the Maple Leafs are expected to sign Petr Mrazek to a three-year, $11.4 million contract, while former starter Frederik Andersen is expected to land with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Mrazek will earn $3.8 million, or more than twice his new partner Jack Campbell's salary, on his multi-year deal.
3 years $3.8 per for Mrazek and Leafs.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 28, 2021
Andersen is expected to join Carolina on a two-year deal worth $9 million.
The two agreements make sense for both teams. Mrazek is experienced working in a tandem, and will join Jack Campbell in a split-start scenario, while Andersen has spent most of the last half decade as a clear No. 1 option, and will likely hold down that role in Carolina.
Mrazek has split carries in Carolina for the last three seasons following a two-season stretch with the Detroit Red Wings as the No. 1 option. He maintained a .911 save percentage in 92 appearances for the Hurricanes, but was recently squeezed, and reduced to a clear backup role, after Alex Nedeljkovic emerged in his rookie season.
For Andersen, this is a tremendous opportunity. Despite Nedeljkovic's successes in a Calder Trophy-nominated season, the Hurricanes decided to uproot its existing goaltending structure this offseason, trading Nedeljkovic to the Red Wings and moving on from Mrazek and likely another goaltender with Leaf history, James Reimer.
It leaves Andersen as the No. 1 option for a team with legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations that thrives in shot suppression.
Andersen is coming off a difficult and injury-filled season, in which he lost his starter's role in Toronto to Campbell. He posted an .895 save percentage in 23 starts, but it's believed he performed through injury, and while Campbell was shelved, both likely exacerbating his health issues and damaging his individual statistics.
Andersen should bounce back to a certain degree, but there are definitely questions of whether he's a legitimate starting netminder for a contender, or if he can even come close to matching the data Nedeljkovic fashioned last season in Carolina.
Elsewhere, Toronto spent the rest of the day working around the margins. Kyle Dubas added Kurtis Gabriel and David Kampf on one- and two-year contracts, respectively. Kampf, a strong penalty killer with very little offensive upside, will earn $1.5 million annually, while the face-punching Gabriel will earn $750,00.
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