Feb 15, 2013, 11:29 AM EST
The Detroit Red Wings and starting netminder Jimmy Howard have begun discussions about a new deal.
Just don’t expect Howard to focus on those talks.
“It’s the furthest thing I’m thinking about,” he told MLive.com. “You don’t have time to think about it.”
Howard, 29, admitted he focused too much on his contract status two years ago — he eventually signed a two-year, $4.5 million deal — to the point where it affected his on-ice performance.
Since then, Howard has become a constant presence between the pipes for Detroit, playing in 63 games during the 2010-11 season and 57 in 2011-12.
The 29-year-old has been an absolute workhorse this season, currently tied for second in the NHL in games played (12), fifth in shots faced (345) and fourth in minutes played (707:42).
All of this begs the question — what’s Howard’s market value?
For more, here’s MLive’s Ansar Khan:
[Howard] has a career record of 116-58-21, with 11 shutouts, a 2.44 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in the regular season.
That is similar to the St. Louis Blues’ Jaroslav Halak (112-67-21, 24 shutouts, 2.42 GAA, .918 save percentage) and Anaheim Ducks’ Jonas Hiller (121-93-15, 15 shutouts, 2.56 GAA, .917 save percentage).
Halak, 27, signed a four-year, $15 million contract ($3.75 million cap hit) in 2010. Hiller, 31, signed a four-year, $18 million contract ($4.5 million cap hit) in 2010.
Khan also notes that Detroit has additional business to attend to this offseason besides Howard — Valtteri Filppula and Damien Brunner will both be UFAs as well, as are Dan Cleary, Drew Miller and Ian White.
- Martin Brodeur to retire, become Blues asst. GM (Updated) 24
- Mike Richards clears waivers 29
- Game on: Islanders-Rangers to be played despite storm 13
- Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended eight games for his hit on Letang 54
- Isles’ rise to be tested as they lose Okposo for 6-8 weeks 16
- L.A. Sorry? Kings waive Mike Richards 123
- Bobrovsky out 4-6 weeks, Jackets recall goalie Forsberg 3
- Blue Jackets proud as Columbus shows it’s a hockey town 24
- From contract dispute to All-Star MVP, Johansen’s had quite the year 17
- Marc-Andre Fleury would like to remind the Columbus crowd that the Penguins beat the Blue Jackets in the playoffs 33
- Columnist: Flyers ‘orchestrated’ fight night versus Pens during meal at ‘a local steakhouse’ (130)
- L.A. Sorry? Kings waive Mike Richards (123)
- Flyers’ Rinaldo: ‘I changed the whole game, man’ (112)
- Video: Rinaldo tossed for boarding Letang (79)
- Report: Flyers’ Rinaldo waives right to an in-person hearing (61)