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Report: Red Wings very close to re-signing Howard

Apr 11, 2013, 10:35 AM EDT

Detroit Red Wings v St. Louis Blues Getty Images

It looks like Jimmy Howard will be the Detroit Red Wings’ starting goaltender for years to come.

Howard is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the Red Wings are close to inking him to a six-year contract, according to TSN’s Aaron Ward.

The deal will reportedly pay Howard something in the ballpark of $5.3 million annually. That represents a major, though not unexpected, jump from the $2.25 million he was owed in 2012-13 before the lockout began.

The 29-year-old has emerged as one of the NHL’s top goaltenders. He’s in his fourth season as Detroit’s starter and, despite a shaky start to the season, has a 2.41 GAA and .917 save percentage in 33 starts.

If the length of the deal is accurate, Howard would join Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, and Niklas Kronwall as members of the Red Wings’ core that are secured through at least the 2018-19 campaign.

It’s also worth noting that even with the salary cap going down to $64.3 million next season, the Red Wings would still have a healthy amount of flexibility going into the summer, according to Cap Geek.

That will allow them to also re-sign 29-year-old forward Valtteri Filppula should they wish to do so.

  1. tmoore4075 - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Dastyuk is only signed through next year so not until 18-19.

    The 5.3mil is right where he probably should be. Can’t get the lower ones like you used to with 10 year deals. And consdering he was making 2.25mil while being a #1 goalie he deserved a bigger raise.

    As for Fil, I’m not sure I see him sticking around. Reports are he wants $5mil per and he’s not worth that.

    • polegojim - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      I agree on both.

      Howard’s of course a no brainer.

      Regarding Fil – not a big fan. I’ve grown weary of faster… but ‘soft’ puck handlers… and the Red Wings have more than their share. Speed is a limited asset if you don’t have the fortitude to work through pinches and floor checks. Unless you have a clean breakaway, you’re dumping it in.
      No disrespect, but he hasn’t shown much better speed than bigger opponents anyway.

      Wings just need more toughness and a bit less finesse.

  2. clefty1 - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Howards so called shaky start had more to do with the defense that is out in front of him. Howard is a workhorse and has played well overall for the Wings.

    Fillpula supposedly is looking for 5 million, he is not worth that kind of money and I dont think any team would pay him that.

    • clefty1 - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:46 AM


    • tmoore4075 - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      See I think some team will overpay him that kind of money. He’s not worth it but some team might offer it up.

  3. hanza26 - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    if fillipula thinks hes getting 5 mill hes off his rocker

    • edwelsh8 - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      He may get it, just not in the NHL. If he demands that salary, he’ll most likely be in the KHL next season.

  4. canucks30 - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    This is the first time the Red Wings have invested serious money in goal since Cujo and Hasek’s first go around in Motown.

    Certainly a change in philosophy from Ken Holland.

    With Lidstrom retired and Datsyuk approaching the back nine of his career it’ll be interesting to see how much longer the Red Wings can continue their 2 decade plus post-season streak.

  5. gekkoguy82 - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Hope they get this locked up. Howie is a solid investment. It’s nice to have some true stability in goal for multiple seasons strung together…it’s a luxury the Wings have not had too often in the past.

  6. tmoore4075 - Apr 11, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Surprised at how many people in here are ok with the deal. So many comments and tweets elsewhere I’ve seen have hated it. Think it’s too much and he’s not worth that kind of money. Cory Schneider hasn’t been a true #1 yet and got $4mil last summer as an RFA from his own team. Rinne and Quick make $7mil a year (take off the back diving years on Quck’s that’s what hes making) and they are better than Howard and Howie’s new salary is right in the middle.

    Some have said that’s a long time when you’ve got Mrazek there behind him. True but Mrazek is no sure thing. That would be a huge risk. Plus the Wings never rush their prospects. If Mrazek turns into a stud in a couple years then you trade Howard. I have confidence he’ll be playing well and be worth the money he’s getting. Plus when the cap goes up goalies salaries will go up and he’ll look like a steal.

  7. thehighcountrybear - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Too much for the kind of inconsistency we see from Howard…like my shower, he runs hot then cold then hot then cold!

    When he’s cold he goes down early, is on his back or on his pants doing the worm while they fill the net. I’d fall off my chair if he stopped an in-game breakaway. He’s an easy beat from the point on soft or fluttering shots. He’s in a fog early in games and gives up first shot goals and two or three on twelve shots waaaaay too often!

    When he’s hot, he stands up, and only drops when he has to…his butterfly is his great flaw for five hole action but is great on the low corner stuff. If he gets grooved-in early, he can be spectacular.

    I’m not sure how good Bedard is, but Howard needs some head work for concentration, confidence and recovery from bad beats, his fault or otherwise.

    Too much money for what we have in the present…maybe a long term deal can tighten Jimmy up? I’d love to be proven wrong…

    • polegojim - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      He’s the best they have at this time…. but tonights effort proves your points HCB…

      Howard made some very nice saves during REG and OT and CAVED in the SO.

      Two Shoot out Goals that should have been stopped… I wonder if 5.3 mil will buy us a POKE CHECK… Cloutures SO goal would have been stopped with a simple POKE… Marleau’s was also nothing special.

      Well.. at last 1 point is better than none… but CMon Jimmy. Finish strong.

      • gekkoguy82 - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:42 AM

        I wouldn’t be too quick to judge goalies by their shootout abilities. Shootouts are garbage. Pekka Rinne is one of the best out there, but he has had a rotten time in shootouts. I don’t put too much stock in shootout performance. It’s not only that a goalie has stop a guy who has all day to come in and do whatever it is that he wants, but it’s the fact that his guys have to actually score goals, which doesn’t happen often for the Wings and Preds.

      • polegojim - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        As long as shoot outs are part of the game… games can be won and lost on a goalies performance… so how in the world can you NOT worry about shootouts

        Howard lost the game for the Wings last night with very weak SO goal tending… that IS worrisome.

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