After a fourteen-year tenure with the Detroit Red Wings organization, it is time to move on from Jimmy Howard and look in other areas for a goaltender.
As the Detroit Red Wings continue to wait out the National Hockey League’s decisions regarding the progression of the 2019-20 season, attention turns to the offseason. With the league needing to make some decisions this offseason, letting Jimmy Howard hit the open market is one of them.
The Red Wings season should be over, even if NHL hockey is played again this year, the Red Wings will not be a part of the 24-team playoffs that have been proposed. That being said, General Manager Steve Yzerman should have his sights shifted farther in the future to the offseason.
Goaltender Jimmy Howard had a historically bad season this year, seemingly forgetting how to play goaltender. Howard produced some of the worst numbers across the league and lost the starting job to Jonathan Bernier, who looked mighty good this season.
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In twenty-seven appearances, Howard played himself into a 2-23-2 record while posting a horrifyingly bad .882 save percentage (SV%) and a 4.20 goals-against average (GAA) for the Red Wings.
He would not win a game after October 29th, 2019, which is just hard to stomach, being that he has always been the trusted netminder over the years.
An injury would sideline him for a few weeks to head into 2020, but Howard still returned to the net and was shaky even then.
He ultimately found himself getting the hook in six games before the start of the third period and sometimes even earlier.
It was not a good season for Howard, and it might just be his last, donning a red and white sweater each night.
The Red Wings veteran has put on that winged-wheel in each of the previous fourteen seasons at least once. He would take over as the majority starter in 2009-10, playing in 63 games en route to a conference semi-finals loss to the San Jose Sharks in his age twenty-five season.
Now thirty-six years old, Howard has been slowing down, and the rebuild has been tasking for the veteran goaltender. It seems like Yzerman is going to look to breed a goaltender from within the organization like Keith Petruzzelli or possibly Carter Gylander deep into the future.
With a need for a goalie upgrade pressing, Howard’s lack of performance just is not going to cut it, and a free agent stopgap replacement will be necessary to keep the rebuild afloat without completely sinking this organization.
Sadly, it seems that Jimmy Howard’s time in the Red Wings uniform has come and gone, and this offseason, he will be bound to hit the open market or possibly hang up the skates.