Detroit Red Wings: 3 potential destinations for Jimmy Howard

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Goaltender Jimmy Howard wants to continue playing professional hockey, but it won’t be as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.

It appears after spending ten years as the starting goaltender, and parts of 14 total seasons for the Detroit Red Wings, Jimmy Howard‘s time with the franchise has officially come to an end.  Howard spent parts of 14 years with the Red Wings, but after struggling mightily last season and being a 36-year old free agent at a time when a plethora of veteran goaltenders will be hitting the open market, Steve Yzerman will be content looking elsewhere.

Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings will have plenty of options this offseason when pairing an available goaltender with Jonathan Bernier, who is entering the final year of his current deal.  The Red Wings will have plenty of options heading into the offseason; they may seek a trade for a goaltender from someone like the Pittsburgh Penguins who have a pair of young netminders both entering a restricted free agent (RFA) year, or a cap stricken team that is deep at the position but needing to shed cap-space.  Yzerman may choose not to move any treasured draft capital or players currently rostered to make a trade and sign one of the many free-agent options about to be available.

Whoever the Red Wings opt to pair with Bernier will undoubtedly be an upgrade to the production Howard gave Detroit last season.

Howard’s last win came back on October 29th, 2019.  He finished the season with an embarrassing 2-23-2 record. Howard posted a career-worst .882 save percentage to go with a 4.20 goals-against average last year in Detroit.

Everyone understands how bad the Detroit Red Wings performed last season, but those numbers are nothing short of atrocious.  In comparison, Bernier, playing behind the same team, posted a 15-22-3 record, and produced a 2.95 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.  Retirement is undoubtedly the best option for Howard, but he’s mentioned that won’t be an option, yet.

Howard’s 246 career victories rank third all-time in Red Wings history behind Terry Sawchuk and Chris Osgood.  Howard will be best suited as a back-up and perhaps a mentor elsewhere; this won’t be easy, but here are three potential landing spots for the veteran netminder.