Red Wings sign Jimmy Howard to one-year extension

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The Detroit Red Wings are prepared to enter the 2019-20 NHL season with the exact same goaltending duo they have this season after the team announced on Wednesday that it has signed starting goalie Jimmy Howard to a one-year contract extension.

Financial terms of the deal were not released by the team, but according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, it could be worth upwards of $5.1M, with $1.1M of it available through playoff bonuses should the Red Wings qualify next spring.

The 35-year-old goalie said on Tuesday, via NHL.com, that he is perfectly willing to keep signing one-year contracts after this season because the Red Wings have treated him so well throughout his career and he does not want to do anything to hurt their chances to build a team. The Red Wings are the only team Howard has played for during his career after they selected him in the second round of the 2003 NHL draft. He has been their No. 1 goalie since the 2009-10 season and pretty consistently been a league average, to slightly above league average goalie.

The 2018-19 season has been a tale of two seasons for Howard as he started off with what looked to be one of the best performances of his career, especially when you consider he has been playing behind a rebuilding team that is currently one of the league’s worst.

But his production started to regress a bit throughout January and February and currently has him sitting with a .908 save percentage in 44 appearances.

With Howard’s deal now officially signed, the Red Wings’ goalie situation is totally set for next season as Jonathan Bernier will still be signed for two more seasons at a salary cap hit of $3 million. Howard’s new deal, however, does not include a no-trade clause, allowing the team to move him for the right deal.

The fact the Red Wings, a team that is supposedly rebuilding and looking toward the future, are prepared to enter another season with two goalies over the age of 30 that will eat up more than $7 million in salary cap space is a testament to just how thin they are at the position throughout the organization. At some point they are going to have to find a younger, long-term solution because neither goalie they have now will be a part of the next contending team in Detroit.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Red Wings shut down Green’s season after virus reactivation

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The Detroit Red Wings will end the 2018-19 NHL season the same way they began it: without defenseman Mike Green.

Green has been shut down for the rest of the season, thanks to a reactivation of the same virus that kept him out for most of October.

The initial thought was that Green would miss 7-10 days due to the flare-up, but the Red Wings announced Thursday that Green had seen a specialist and the choice was made to end his season.

The virus is said to be attacking his liver and causing Green to be fatigued.

Head coach Jeff Blashill said he’s been told that there is no long-term worry with Green, only that he needs proper rest at the moment.

“I’ve been told of no concern at all long term,” Blashill said. “Obviously, like anything else in life, you never know, you take everything day to day, but they think it’s a virus that with proper rest he’ll be fine but you can’t get proper rest when you’re going through an NHL season. The purpose of holding him out for the rest of the year is that he can fully recover and once he’s fully recovered he should be totally fine.”

Green signed a two-year, $10.75 million deal last summer and has five goals and 26 points in 43 games this season.

Green missed over a month –12 games — earlier this season because of a foot injury.

The Red Wings are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs at this point sitting on 56 points, 23 behind the Montreal Canadiens, who hold down the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference.

The silver lining to Green’s absence will be more time for some of the young crop of defenseman to see more meaningful minutes. This includes both Filip Hronek and Madison Bowey, the latter who the Red Wings picked up at the trade deadline from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Nick Jensen. Hronek appears in line to quarterback the team’s first power-play unit.

Detroit is in a full-blown rebuild at the moment and as of Thursday, have the second-best odds heading into the draft lottery at 13.5% according to Tankathon. That would land them Kaapo Kakko at the very least in June’s draft.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Plans move ahead for demolition of Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena

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DETROIT (AP) — Plans are moving forward for the demolition of the former home of the Detroit Red Wings in downtown Detroit.

Detroit Building Authority Director Tyrone Clifton tells the Detroit Free Press that demolition of Joe Louis Arena is expected to begin in the next four to six weeks and finish by the end of the year or early 2020.

Clifton says that crews will start by disassembling the arena’s interior and then proceed to the exterior by June or July. The newspaper says Detroit-based Adamo Group is doing the demolition under a $5.9 million contract with the city and there will be no implosion that people might be able to gather to see.

The Red Wings moved to the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit in 2017.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com

Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay dies at 93

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Detroit Red Wings legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay died on Monday morning. He was 93 years old.

Lindsay suited up for the Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks during his 17-year NHL career. He accumulated 379 goals, 851 points and 1808 penalty minutes in 1068 games.

He also won the Stanley Cup four times with the Wings. (1950, 1952, 1954, 1955), while accumulating 47 goals, 96 points and 194 penalty minutes in 133 postseason games.

“Ted Lindsay was a Detroit Red Wings legend and icon, a hall of fame hockey player and Stanley Cup champion, and an even better person off the ice,” wrote Ilitch Holdings President and CEO and Red Wings Governor Christopher Ilitch in a statement. “He operated with a generous heart and was a great humanitarian, particularly to the Detroit Community and to young disadvantaged children. Ted was a great friend to my parents and to my entire family. He was endeared by legions of Detroit Red Wings fans and to all who played the great game of hockey. On behalf of Marian Ilitch and myself, our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. While he will be sorely missed by us and many others, his positive impact to the game and to our community will live on.”

If you pay close attention to the amount of penalty minutes he racked up throughout his career, you can easily see why he was nicknamed “Terrible Ted”. Despite being just 5-foot-8, Lindsay managed to play a robust style throughout his entire career.

Lindsay made up one third of Detroit’s “Production Line,” as he played left wing next to Sid Abel and Gordie Howe. As successful as he was on the ice, “Terrible Ted” also did wonders for his fellow players away from the rink. Lindsay and Montreal Canadiens great Doug Harvey were responsible for creating the first National Hockey League Players Association back in 1957.

Here’s an excerpt from Executive Director Don Fehr on the death of Ted Lindsay:

“All current and former NHL players lost a true friend with the passing of Ted Lindsay. “Terrible Ted” was one of the fiercest competitors to ever play in the NHL, and he enjoyed great success on the Detroit’s fabled “Production Line”, helping lead the Red Wings to four Stanley Cup championships. On the ice, Ted Lindsay was one of the best players to ever to put on a pair of skates. But his greatest legacy was off the ice. A true trailblazer in seeking to improve conditions for all players, Ted was instrumental in organizing the original Players’ Association in 1957. All Players, past, current and future, are in his debt. All those who have, and will follow him into the NHL, enjoy improved rights and benefits in large part due to the efforts he made.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement:

“The National Hockey League mourns the passing and celebrates the incomparable life of the legendary Ted Lindsay. One of the game’s fiercest competitors during his 17-season NHL career, he was among its most beloved ambassadors throughout the more than five decades of service to hockey that followed his retirement. In Detroit, he was a civic icon.

“What Lindsay lacked in physical stature, he possessed in intensity, desire and will to win. He played 1,068 NHL games for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, scoring 379 goals with 472 assists and 1,808 penalty minutes. He appeared in 11 All-Star Games and was named a First-Team All-Star eight times. He won the Art Ross Trophy as the League’s scoring leader in 1950 and, as a driving force on the dynastic Red Wingsteams of the 1950s – including as the left wing on the famed Production Line – he won the Stanley Cup four times.

“Named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966, he had his No. 7 retired by the Red Wings in 1991 and was named one of the NHL’s Top 100 Players during the League’s Centennial Celebration in 2017. As influential off the ice as he was on the ice, Lindsay was instrumental in the formation of the NHL Players’ Association. In 2010, NHL players displayed their reverence for him by renaming their annual award for the most outstanding player the Ted Lindsay Award.

“There was no one quite like Ted Lindsay. We send our condolences to Ted’s children Blake, Lynn and Meredith, his stepdaughter Leslie, his six grandchildren and his three great grandchildren and join them in marveling at his incredible life.”

In April of 2010, the NHLPA announced that the Lester B. Pearson Award would be named the Ted Lindsay Award, which is given to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted upon by the members of the players’ association. Many consider this to be the more meaningful MVP award.

Lindsay was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Deep team only gets deeper as Sharks acquire Nyquist

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A San Jose Sharks team that appears to be as stacked as they come found a way to become deeper late on Sunday night.

The Sharks sent a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2020 draft to the Detroit Red Wings to take over Gustav Nyquist‘s services — just hours after the Sharks downed Detroit 5-3 on Sunday evening (a game Nyquist scored in).

The deal is great value for the Sharks.

Nyquist helps round out the Sharks top-nine, and will likely slot in on a line with Joe Thornton and Kevin Labanc as he begins his life in the shark tank. He has 13 goals and 49 points in 62 games this season and is three assists and five points shy of matching career highs in both categories.

“Gustav is a talented, versatile forward who plays with speed and a strong hockey sense,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. “His track record of strong play and character speak for themselves and we’re very excited to add him to our dressing room.”

TSN’s Bob McKenzie said Nyquist was asked to waive his no-trade clause. The answer, obviously, was yes.

“I’ve had eight amazing years in Detroit, but it’s gonna be great to come to Sharks and try and go all the way,” Nyquist reportedly told Sweden newspaper Aftonbladet.

The add of Nyquist helps solidify secondary scoring for the Sharks that was already doing well in that department.

[Winners and losers of the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline]

The Sharks sit second in the Western Conference on 82 points, three back of the Calgary Flames (who have a game in hand).

According to TSN, the conditional third-rounder in 2020 would turn into a second-round pick if the Sharks make the Stanley Cup Final this year or they re-sign the 29-year-old. Nyquist is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s closing out a four-year, $19 million deal with the Red Wings and has spent his eight-year NHL career in Detroit after being drafted in the fourth round in 2008.

Pierre LeBrun, also of TSN, reported that the Red Wings are retaining 30 percent of Nyquist’s remaining salary.

Given the volatility in the West at the moment, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see the Sharks make it to the Cup Final. So the trade could fetch a better return in the end. We’d assume that a deal to re-sign Nyquist wasn’t going to happen, so the Red Wings — not making a playoff push, never mind one at the Cup — needed to get something in return.

The Red Wings, in rebuild mode, have already begun their sell-off after shipping off defenseman Nick Jensen to the Washington Capitals on Friday.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck