Jimmy Howard has spent his entire career with the Detroit Red Wings, but his stint with the team might be coming to and end this off-season.
The Red Wings don’t have a ton of cap space (roughly $11 million). When you factor in that they’ll likely need to absorb Pavel Datsyuk’s $7.5 million cap hit while he leaves for Russia, it’ll be impossible for them to keep a backup goalie making $5.3 million.
The problem is that Howard didn’t have a very good season. Sure he helped the Wings get into the playoffs down the stretch, but overall, his mediocre numbers matched his play. The 32-year-old finished the season with a 14-14-5 record, a 2.80 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in 2015-16.
Petr Mrazek will be come an RFA on July 1st, which means he needs a new contract and more dollars.
When asked whether or not he can keep Howard, Red Wings GM Ken Holland admitted a change of scenery might be best for him.
“I can see on the one hand that having two goaltenders, it’s a nice luxury,” Holland said, per The Detroit News. “Certainly Jimmy Howard played an important role down the stretch in our team qualifying for the playoffs.
“It (a trade) might be good for some careers and good for the organization. I’ve thought about it lots.”
Whether or not Holland can get a trade done remains to be seen. Howard has three years left on his contract at a cap hit of $5.291 million. That contract definitely won’t be easy to deal away for Detroit.