Detroit Red Wings: It is time to let goaltender Jimmy Howard walk

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

After fourteen seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, it is time to let Jimmy Howard walk and become a free agent this offseason.

It was a horrifyingly bad Detroit Red Wings season, but goaltender Jimmy Howard put a new meaning to being terrible in the goal crease. In the middle of a rebuild, the defense was an issue, but some of the awful statistics Howard put up were hard to swallow.

The Red Wings have their goalie for the 2020-21 season in Jonathan Bernier, who was the team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).  Howard is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and is no longer the definite starter of this team.

Howard produced some ugly stats; even after sustaining an injury, he struggled to find his groove and get back on track with his old self. Over the years, Howard proved to be a reliable and steady backup goaltender after coming into the league.

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Joining the league in steady fashion back in 2009-10, Howard took over starting duties and was a three-time all-star.

He was runner up for the Calder trophy for the best rookie performance in 2009-10 as well. But in 2019-20, the narrative took a sharp turn, and Howard’s numbers showed this.

Howard would start twenty-seven games, producing a 2-23-2 record on the season. Even worse than that, Howard’s Goals Against Average (GAA) of 4.20 and a Save Percentage (SV%) of .882 on the season.

In fact, of his twenty-seven starts in net, he would get pulled from six games before the end of the second period. That essentially means that Howard was pulled that early from just under 25% of his starts.

It was tough to watch when Howard was in net because it ultimately meant the Red Wings were going to lose, considered he won two games, and those two wins were the first game of the year and October 29th.

After a long eleven strong years as the Red Wings netminder, it seems that it is Howard’s time to move on from this organization. The next generation of Red Wings goaltenders is not the best out there, but bridging that gap in free agency is possible.

The thing is, Howard is a free agent, but not one the Red Wings should target when there are goaltenders like Robin Lehner on the market who would be perfect. The Red Wings should let Howard go and turn the steering wheel towards the future and pursue a different goaltender.

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All-in-all, Howard was a great netminder during his prime years with the Detroit Red Wings, but at thirty-six years old, it seems his best days are gone, and it is time to let him go.