The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/16/13 at 01:35 PM ET
Updated 10x at 4:09 PM: Almost a week after the news broke, the Detroit Red Wings officially announced that they've signed Jimmy Howard to a 6-year contract extension:
Capgeek's got the contract pegged down as a $31.8 million deal with a $5.3 million-per-season cap hit.
Update: Via RedWingsFeed, the NHL Network announced the deal, too...
Four more years? Ah well, I guess you can be bad at math when you've hit the jackpot.
Update #5: From the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
“It’s one of those things where I’ll treat everyone to dinner,” Howard said. “It’s an exciting time for myself and my family and we’re excited to be here for six more years.
“It’s still sort of surreal,” Howard added. “I still can’t believe it’s happening. It’s been a long road, a long journey with a lot of ups and down, especially with being in the American League for four years and learning to become a professional. Everything sort of panned out for me.”
Howard was in the final year of a deal that paid him $2.25 million a season.
“Everyone would want to finish their career with the team that they started with,” Howard said. “To be able to be drafted by the Wings when I was 18 and still be here and part of the organization at 29 is pretty special.”
Howard, 29, was drafted by the Wings in 2003 (second round, 64th overall) and the team spent time grooming him in the minors before bringing him up when he was out of options.
“Howie has worked hard and the organization has confidence in him,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s important for us. We need good goaltending. Just how much parity there is, we need him each and every night and he’s been excellent for us.”
“Not only do I think he’s a really good goaltender, for our organization, it’s stability,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. “It’s a really, really important position. We’ve got a player that wants to be here, that’s grown up through our system, has gotten better every year.”
Holland said Howard is in the prime of his career.
“If you look at the contract that we signed, we’re going to wake up in a year and maybe there’s going to be eight or 10 goaltenders that are going to make more than Jimmy Howard,” Holland said. “We got a number that Jimmy felt comfortable, that we felt comfortable with. We obviously gave some term. In order to get, you gotta give. This deal for us and for Jimmy, gives him security, gives us security, stability.
“In the next year, we’re going to wake up and it’s going to be a real good cap number in relation, a fair cap number, in relation what other people in the league are making.”
Update #7: I don't know who's poop list I got on, but I haven't received the Wings' press relase regarding Howard yet. The Windsor Star's Jim Parker has received the press release:
The Detroit Red Wings and goaltender Jimmy Howard officially agreed to a new six-year deal for a reported $31.8 million Tuesday.
The deal locks up the 29-year-old Howard through the 2018-19 season and more than doubles his current salary of $2.25 million to $5.3 million a season.
“We’re extremely pleased to have Jimmy under contract for the next six seasons,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He’s entering the prime of his career and over the last four years has gained a tremendous amount of regular season and postseason experience.”
Detroit’s second-round pick in 2003 out of the University of Maine, the six-foot, 220-pound Howard spent the majority of his first four pro seasons with the club’s American Hockey League team in Grand Rapids, Mich. before taking over the No. 1 job in Detroit in 2009-10.
He went 37-15-10 in his rookie season with a 2.26 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in 63 games to become just the fourth goaltender in team history to record 30 or more win his rookie season joining Terry Sawchuk, Roger Crozier and Glenn Hall.
In 228 career regular-season games for the Red Wings, Howard boasts a 127-66-25 record with a 2.39 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
“He’s developed into a top-tier NHL goaltender and is a very important part of our team moving forward,” Holland said. “Jimmy is one of our leaders and we look forward to watching him elevate his game to the next level in a Red Wings’ sweater.”
Update #8: Here's the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa's article about Howard's contract extension, updated with quotes:
Asked how deeply he would be touched — when he has to buy dinner for his teammates, as is customary around the NHL with big signings — Howard just laughed.
"Eventually, it will be one of those things where I treat everyone to dinner."
Six more years of regular starts will rank Howard among the top goalies in the history of the Red Wings. Of course, that factors in the goalie merry-go-round that Jack Adams ran for years in Detroit, as coach and general managers, with terrific goalies like Harry Lumley, Terry Sawchuk and Glenn Hall seemingly in-and-out of town, willy-nilly, despite their performances. However, Howard said it is far too early to think in those terms.
"I haven't given that any thought, whatsoever," he said. "It's just an exciting time for me and my family, and we're excited to be here for six more years.
"It's still sort of surreal," he said, of his career as he begins to approach would be the midpoints for most goalies. "I can't believe really that it's happening. It's been a long road, a long journey with lots of ups and downs, especially being in the American (Hockey) League for four years and learning to be a professional You know, everything's sort of panned out for me."
Update #9: MLive's Brendan Savage interviewed Holland about the extension...
And amongst what Holland had to say to Savage...
"If you go back nine months, with Nick Lidstrom retiring and Brad Stuart deciding to leave, we're a little bit in transition," Holland said at Joe Louis Arena. "We're trying to compete for a playoff spot at the same time we're trying to transition, bring some younger people in.
"Jimmy is 29 years of age. Not only do I think he's a really good goaltender, for our organization it's stability. It's a really, really important position. We brought (back) a player who wants to be here, who has grown up through our system. He's gotten better every year. He competes every day in practice. So now you lock down that No. 1 position.
"He's one of our most valuable players. He gives us a chance to win every night. He's a workhorse. In an 82-game schedule, he can play 65-70 games if we needed him to. He's gotten better every year. Again, he's one of our most important, most valuable players and in the prime of his career."
"If you look at the contract that we signed, we're going to wake up in a year and maybe there's eight or 10 goaltenders that are going to make more than Jimmy Howard," Holland said. "We got a number that Jimmy felt comfortable with and we felt comfortable with. In order to get, you got to give.
"It gives him security, it gives us security, stability. In the next year, we're going to wake up and it's going to be a good cap number, a fair cap number, in relation to what the other people in the league are making. That's to me how you identity where it fits in.
"It's an important day to me because we got somebody locked up that's really important, at a number that he feels good about, that we feel good about, that we can work with."
Quoth the coach:
"He's played well," said coach Mike Babcock. "I don't know who's our MVP. I don't know if that's (Henrik Zetterberg) or (Pavel Datsyuk) or him. I watch Howie every day in practice and he battles and he competes and he battles in the games. He takes it personal, which I like to see."
Update #10: Via RedWingsFeed, ESPN's Barry Melrose weighs in on the deal:
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