The Return of Marek Mazanec

Goaltender Marek Mazanec returns to the Milwaukee Admirals after a two month stay in the NHL with the Nashville Predators. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Scott Darling was injured in practice on Tuesday. Magnus Hellberg was injured last night in overtime against the San Antonio Rampage. This sets the stage for the return of Marek Mazanec to the Milwaukee Admirals after a lengthy stint in the NHL with the Nashville Predators.

Mazanec started the season with the Admirals by winning all five starts in net with a 1.97 GAA, and a 0.933 SV%. This paved the way for him to switch spots with Hellberg in Nashville where he would make a quick dent by earning the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November. This season in the NHL he has gone 8-10-4, 2.80 GAA, 0.902 SV%, and has recorded two shutouts.

The move comes two days after the Nashville Predators acquired goaltender Devan Dubnyk from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Matt Hendricks. This meant three goalies were in camp when the Predators played against the Flyers on the road last night. Carter Hutton made the start and save of the season in the shootout win. Dubnyk sat on the bench in full Oilers gear. And, odd man out, Mazanec was scratched. A move was needed for the Predators’ sake. And now a move is really needed for both the Predators and Admirals’ sake.

The injury to Darling isn’t really known to this point. The injury to Hellberg last night involves his right ankle and it might be a ‘wait and see’ game to hear how exactly bad he is injured. He tried his best to play on after the injury took place but the team removed him with four-seconds remaining in overtime – placing Hannu Toivonen into the fire for his Admirals debut. Two goalies down. One goalie in on a PTO. Six Games. Nine Days. Help was needed and needed fast. Whether he knows it or not Mazanec is coming to the rescue of the Ads in a big stretch of games. If he wants to play consistently. He’s going to get that and more in nine days time.

Thought’s on the move? Did Nashville make the right choice in sending down Mazanec and keeping Hutton up? With the recent injuries – will this have to be all Mazanec in net? How do you think he will fair shouldering the work load during this big stretch of games?

5 thoughts on “The Return of Marek Mazanec”

  1. Hutton has a one year deal, right? Assuming that, yes the Preds made the right move. Hutton obviously is not in future plans whereas Mazanec could be. Sending him down for more playing time is the correct choice.

  2. I think the only reason Hutton was not sent down is he would be exposed to waivers. With all the goalie injuries to Preds-contracted and Ads-contracted this season already I don’t think they wanted to take that chance. And then last night with Hellberg! I honestly think if there weren’t so many injuries this season to all the goalies the Preds would have been fine exposing Hutton to waivers.

  3. CreedFeed/Fan in the Falls: I think this move was coming for awhile now. It’s just under far different circumstances. I’ve been awaiting the Rinne return and the ensuing goaltending rotation that would follow. Dubnyk trade. Injuries. Even without that and just the Rinne return I figured Maz made the most sense to bring back. They want a guy like him to play. Not sit on a bench or play here and there.

  4. Dubnyk’s arrival may light a fire under Hutton too. He did play a great game in the win over Philly. I’ve never seen a game where he’s given up so *few* rebounds. Of course, Mitch Korn may just be putting him through a lot of rebound-control exercises lately. But Hutton did look great last night. Anyhoo…

  5. I think that this was the right move. Maz is in the middle of his first North American season, while Hutton has been around the block a few times. The demotion of Hutton may play havoc with him mentally…something the Ads do not need right now. Unless something goes really squirrelly (knock on wood), Maz should get 8 of the 9 starts (all three in three against Rockford is asking a bit much) coming up. The up side is, if the Ads can tread water for a bit longer, they can gear up for the playoffs with what would look like a bunch of trade deadline deals when all the injuries heal.

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