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Pondering Jimmy Howard’s Future Worth

This paragraph from Scott Burnside in Paul’s recent post made me sick to my pants:

With the Wings hard against the salary cap, it’s going to present a dilemma for GM Ken Holland moving forward. That’s to say nothing of the fact that Howard can become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Stay tuned.

I admit to having been completely clueless about Jimmy Howard’s UFA status after this season. I probably knew about it at one point, but it has long since been pushed down deep into my reservoir of repressed knowledge, personal failures, and shameful acts. Until I make contact with my spirit animal and recover some memories with the help of a guru or whisperer of some sort, I’m not ready to even entertain the possibilities.

So I pose the question to you all:

Let’s say Jimmy Howard wins 40 games this year, puts up a roughly 2.3 GAA and .920 SV% and leads the Wings to the Cup Final…

What kind of contract do you give him?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: jimmy+howard, pants, spirit+animal


Primis's avatar

Well he’s not going to make normal 40-win money because he’s got a good team around him.  And I think he’ll know that, I think everyone knows it.  If he went and signed for $5m/yr for 5 years with a team elsewhere he’d probably get murdered every night, because I don’t know that he’s a workhorse goalie like that.  Osgood never was either, and that’s why he struggled with the NYI and STL.

The truth is though that Draper’s contract ends this year, and I find it hard to imagine he’ll be back, since look at where DET is without him so far on the season.  With Modano playing like garbage liek he has been, he won’t be back either and will probbaly have to retire.  That’s something like $3.3m coming off the books and given their roles, that won’t have to be replaced necessarily.

Also, Lidstrom’s contract is up, and say he signs for $5m for one more year… that’d free up another $1.2m

I don’t really see any cap dilemma here.  If Howard earns a healthy bump, he’ll get it, and Detroit can fit it and make it work.  DET is up against the cap, but they have a lot of flexibility going into next season.  They are nothing like CHI was, or a few other teams will be.  DET put themselves in position to have one rough cap year, and flexibility from there on.  Compare that now tot he Cap Hell the Devils have been in for 3 seasons or so now, and will only continue for several more at least…  there’s a huge difference between managing one rough cap year, and having to deal with 3 or 4 in a row.

Posted by Primis on 11/30/10 at 12:31 PM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

Jimmy at 3 million, Nick at 6 million and E52 at 1.5 million means that the older UFAs (Salei, Modano and Draper) walk and the wings have to let go at least one of Miller, Eaves, Ilari Filppla, Mursak and Emmerton.  They’ll be up against the cap,  but the end result is probably going to be a shuffle between a couple of role players.  If they lose faith in Hudler, losing his 2.8 million cap hit and roster spot makes the off season easier.  The possibility of Lidstrom retiring is infinitely scarier than the cap this off season.

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 11/30/10 at 10:04 PM ET

pomthillips's avatar

First of all, the salary cap is expected to go up a couple of million: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/david-shoalts/nhl-salary-cap-expected-to-increase/article1825832/).

I expect Howard to accept a salary in the realm of $4mil per season, which the Wings could easily handle with the probable retirements of Draper and Modano.  If Howard holds out for more, then things could get interesting.

Also, I would be surprised if it were a very long contract like those of Zetterberg and Franzen.

Posted by pomthillips from Royal Oak on 12/05/10 at 10:59 PM ET

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