It looks like Jimmy Howard will be the Detroit Red Wings’ starting goaltender for years to come.
Howard is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the Red Wings are close to inking him to a six-year contract, according to TSN’s Aaron Ward.
The deal will reportedly pay Howard something in the ballpark of $5.3 million annually. That represents a major, though not unexpected, jump from the $2.25 million he was owed in 2012-13 before the lockout began.
The 29-year-old has emerged as one of the NHL’s top goaltenders. He’s in his fourth season as Detroit’s starter and, despite a shaky start to the season, has a 2.41 GAA and .917 save percentage in 33 starts.
If the length of the deal is accurate, Howard would join Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, and Niklas Kronwall as members of the Red Wings’ core that are secured through at least the 2018-19 campaign.
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 Cap Geek.
That will allow them to also re-sign 29-year-old forward Valtteri Filppula should they wish to do so.
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.