Today, the Detroit Red Wings extended their starting goalie Jimmy Howard for what seems to be a two-year extension worth $4.5 million dollars.
After drafting and developing Howard, the team put all of their pucks in one net with literally no other options regarding a replacement. Both Chris Osgood and Joey MacDonald have combined for only 20 appearances, making Howard responsible for 47 games through 62 contests.
When asked, GM Ken Holland sounds very please with this move, via Mlive.com:
“We’re pleased to get him signed,” general manager Ken Holland said. “His prime years are ahead of him. He had a great rookie year. He’s got 30 wins this year.”
Holland then went on further to discuss Howard’s workload and age, espcially keying in on what he means to the organization:
“I like that he’s a workhorse. He’s a guy we can put in net night after night,” Holland said. “I like that he’s 27 (on March 26), coming into his prime. We drafted him, we developed him, we watched him grow as a goaltender.”
Generally, players play better following a contract extension so you can expect a further improvement in his peripherals.
Howard’s split in no way look pretty as he regressed from October to January, having his GAA inflate and save percentage plummet over that span. On the other hand, he already seems to be in the right direction as his numbers somewhat improved in February:
If the Red Wings want to be considered legitimate contenders, Howard needs to remain strong as the team gears up to play some of the most important hockey of the season.
Overall, this should be seen as a good move for the Red Wings and good move for Howard. With Howie officially off the market, Craig Anderson, Antti Niemi, Tomas Vokoun and Ilya Bryzgalov lead next year’s free agent class. Although the class of players looks decent, the Wings likely prefer not to gamble with uncertainty; by signing Howard, they stick with the ‘tender they know.
Surprisingly we see more important re-signings than blockbuster trades. Considering the multitude of trades over the past month, a quiet day today made complete sense. Just as we continue to see good hockey trades, retaining Howard is likewise a solid hockey move.
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