Feb 15, 2013, 11:29 AM EDT
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.
- Lightning ‘answer the challenge’ in Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final 2
- Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot 12
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers 63
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 31
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 54
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 13
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 46
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 18
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 10
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (77)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (67)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)