Maz Returns; Signs One-Year, Two-Way Contract with Nashville

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

It was reported yesterday evening. It is now official. The Nashville Predators have signed Marek Mazanec to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2017-18 season. The deal is worth $650,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL. Mazanec should be expected to be the first choice goaltender for the Milwaukee Admirals for the coming season in what will be his fifth season with the organization.

Press Release via Nashville Predators:

Nashville, Tenn. (July 21, 2017) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that the club has signed goaltender Marek Mazanec to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level for the 2017-18 season.

Mazanec, 26 (7/18/91), appeared in four games for Nashville during the 2016-17 campaign and saw action in 47 contests with Milwaukee of the AHL. The 6-foot-4, 202-pound native of Pisek, Czech Republic posted a 27-17-1 record with the Admirals last season with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. In 31 career NHL appearances, Mazanec owns an 8-13-4 record with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage.

In his final season in the Czech League in 2012-13, Nashville’s ninth choice, 179th overall (sixth round), in the 2012 Entry Draft led Plzen to its first title by stopping 48-of-51 shots in a Game Seven double-OT victory in the league final. He ranked fourth in 2013 playoff goals-against average (2.13) and sixth in save percentage (.932), in addition to tying for second in shutouts (2).

I expanded on it in greater length yesterday but, it has to be said, this has been a really bizarre saga as far as the Predators and Mazanec are concerned. It sounded pretty definitive that Predators General Manager David Poile was done with Mazanec and wanted to start 2017-18 on a fresh slate in the AHL and ECHL with new goaltending depth. They brought back a familiar face in Anders Lindbäck. They signed a once highly thought of collegiate prospect in Matt O’Connor. Neither though felt like a comfortable measure in the event of an injury to either Pekka Rinne or Juuse Saros though so it always felt like another variable was in the cards. That variable -at the moment- very much appears to be Mazanec.

I’m sure in due time Poile or Mazanec would clear the air as far as what happened to get from the end of the 2016-17 season to this point. As for now? The Admirals look set to be receiving a reliable goaltender back and someone that the Predators could lean on in the event a third choice goaltending option was needed. In addition, the goaltending depth is now solidified and the Norfolk Admirals will be receiving either Lindbäck or O’Connor to start their season. That’s pretty darn good for an ECHL team.

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5 thoughts on “Maz Returns; Signs One-Year, Two-Way Contract with Nashville”

  1. How often does an ECHL affiliate have a goaltender that’s on an NHL contract rather than an AHL one? The only one I can remember like with the Pred/Ads/ECHL is when Pickard was with the Cyclones during the 2011-2012 season. I don’t follow goalies specifically enough to know the situation for other teams, but it seems like it wouldn’t be that common.

  2. So do you think Maz will get an all-Preds helmet again? Or maybe go back to getting some Ads imagery on there?

  3. FITF: It happens more often than you might think. Quickest example off the top of my head was when the St. Louis Blues played Jordan Binnington in the ECHL for a full-season on his NHL // Entry-Level. That’s probably more of the norm in that respect. As for a more veteran style NHL contracted goaltender plunging to the ECHL out of numbers sake? That’s a bit more rare. You’d assume a lack of progress or ability put someone such as that into the ECHL and an NHL parent club would cut them loose before too long. Mind you, O’Connor is the more likely option at this moment as the ECHL guy and it might not be the worst thing for him now. The competition to earn the #2 spot in MKE will be a fun watch at Training Camp this Fall. …and I’d think Mazanec would either stick with his Nashville mask from last season or attempt to get a brand new Admirals mask.

  4. I thought that NHL only contracts prevent players from being placed below the AAA level, i.e. below the AHL. This is a two-way contract, NHL and AHL. You can get sent down to the ECHL from the AHL. Somebody like Mike Ribeiro could not be sent down to the ECHL. Entry level contract players usually have an expectation of spending time in the minors. Radulov spent 11 games in Milwaukee, other guys may spend 2 or 3 years or more. like Mark Van Guilder.

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