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It’s official: Detroit signs ‘workhorse’ Howard to six-year, $31.8 million deal

Apr 16, 2013, 1:52 PM EDT

Jimmy Howard AP

It took a while, but the ink is finally dry.

On Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings announced they re-signed G Jimmy Howard to a six-year deal, one that will keep Howard in the Motor City until 2019.

“Jimmy is one of our most valuable players who is entering the prime of his career,” Detroit GM Ken Holland said. “He gives a chance to win every night.

“He’s worked hard and become better every year. He’s a workhorse who can play the majority of the 82 games.”

Howard, 29, was rumored to be “very close” to agreeing to an extension with the Wings last week. TSN’s Aaron Ward reported the deal would be around $5.3 million annually.

Update: The Associated Press confirms — $31.8 million over six years, $5.3 million per.

Howard took over Detroit’s starting goalie gig in 2009-10, and hasn’t looked back.

The former University of Maine standout posted stellar numbers last season, achieving career highs in shutouts (six) and goals-against average (2.12) while posting 30-plus wins (35) for the third time in his career.

After a slow start this year, Howard has heated up. His numbers now sit at an impressive 17-12-6 with a .920 save percentage and 2.31 GAA. He also has three shutouts, two off the NHL lead.

With this new deal, Howard joins Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall as Wings secured through 2019.

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 CapGeek.

  1. relicwingnut - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    All we gotta do is make sure that Datsyuk is also in the collection of guys

    • bensawesomeness - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      “All we gotta do” is about 5 things, but keeping Pav is high on that list

      • tmoore4075 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        A little scoring help up front would be nice. A healthy Darren Helm would do WONDERS. And a veteran top 4 D would be great too. I do like the way the D will look in a couple years when these young kids get more experience.

      • bensawesomeness - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        I like the team in 1-3 years, and i’ve been singing Helm and Bert’s praises all year,
        As much as we could really use a free agent here or there, the team has more upside than downside

  2. torrigjp - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    “On Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings announced they re-signed G Jimmy Howard to a six-year deal, one that will keep Howard in the Windy City until 2019.”

    The Windy City is Chicago

    • Mike Halford - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      My brain had vapor lock.

      • ruddigervancity - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        I believe you meant the “Windy Apple”.

      • Mike Halford - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Uh, I’m pretty sure you meant The Big Easy.

  3. JoeAvg - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Ahhh Mike….the Windy City is Chicago.

    • Mike Halford - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      My vapor had brain lock.

  4. elvispocomo - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    I don’t know about everyone else, but $5.3M for Howard seems like a lot, especially if it’s longer term and you think that would factor in a discount of some sort. Howard’s good, but not so great he should be making just under the elite guys.

    • tmoore4075 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      He is making just under the elite guys. Rinne is making 7mil per. Take off the last couple back diving years on Quick’s deal he’s making 7mil. Bryz’s salary this year is 6.5mil and next year 8mil. Cam Ward is making over 6mil per year. This deal also only takes him till he’s 35.

      • r4n6er - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        Bobby Lou’s contract is $5.3mil (cap) and look at all the trouble that is causing him and Van.


      • tmoore4075 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        Lou is 34 and has 9 years left on his deal. When Howie is 34, he’ll have 1 year left on his deal. Even with Howard’s cap hit Wings still have $12.5mil in cap space for 5 players before using any compliance buyouts. The Canucks even without Lou on the books would only have $6.6mil for 8 players I think. Slightly different situations.

      • elvispocomo - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        But is he a just under elite goalie? That’s more my point, where I wouldn’t put him just a small step below Rinne or Quick. Cam Ward’s stats are worse but I don’t think Howard’s really on his level or as important to his team. Bryz isn’t even worth talking about as a comparable.

        Maybe that’s the way salaries are going, but if so then I wonder what the hell we had a lockout for.

      • polegojim - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        Howards contract is exactly where it should be – VERY GOOD.

  5. 13datsyuk13 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Great now that’s out of the way maybe he can focus on getting us to the playoffs. Close the 5 hole during shoot outs jimmy, and lets put together a run.

  6. bildomatic - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    I think this is a fair deal for both sides, Howard is a solid netminder and carries the load for Detroit. I wonder if Chiarelli will attempt to use this as the framework in his Tuukka Rask negotiations this summer. The next few months will be huge negotiation wise for Tuukka and the Bruins.

  7. tmoore4075 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I know some people have an issue with the length but it takes him till he’s 35. Some people point to Mrazek what happens when he’s ready. He’s 21, you’ve got time. Even if you have to wait the full 6 years for him to be the starter he’ll only be 27. Howard’s deal is fine and since it only takes him till he’s 35 and in a few years $5.3mil won’t look bad with the cap going up, he’ll be very trade-able if they need to.

    He’s their MVP this year. He’s had a few bad games. One against the Blues and one against the Hawks. Plus a high GAA in a game against the Preds when he was pulled early with blurry vision. Take away those his GAA is closer to 2.20 or less and save % is at like .925. The last 5 games he’s been fantastic. 1.32 GAA and a .950 save %. If his team could score this team would be in a much better position.

    • elvispocomo - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      I don’t mind 6 years, but has he been so good to earn $5.3M on a contract that likely won’t differ much year to year? I wondered if they wouldn’t do something like $4M/$4.5M/$5M over three years ($4.5M cap hit) and then sign him again after that at the higher price if he continues to improve his numbers.

      He’s has some good years but not consistently great and I just don’t see him being worth above $5M a year at this point. But then I didn’t see Getzlaf and Perry getting $8M+ either.

  8. thehighcountrybear - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    How big a bite does the taxman take from these guys?

    Looking at Verlander and Fielder particularly, one is left wondering how much they actually see…agent fees must take a sizeable chunk as well?

    I’m only concerned because I wouldn’t want to hear of wolves howling at their electronically controlled video patrolled front gates…

  9. hockeydon10 - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    “Is it worth it?” seems to be the common phrase concerning this contract.

    Compare the last 4 years (combined) of the following goaltenders: Price, Miller, Lundquist, Rinne

    You’ll see that Howard isn’t that far off their numbers. Yes, it’s a good signing.

  10. prosportswashington - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    This is one of the best contracts I’ve seen in a while. Its good for both parties and actually reflects the value/skill of the player!

  11. bleedingteal4life - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Pretty sure it says motor city, not Windy City?

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