A source told MLive.com that the sides are inching closer to agreeing on a deal that would more than double Howard's current $2.25 million salary to the $5 million-a-year range. It is expected to be for at least six or seven years.
Howard, who was in All-Star in 2012, has a career record of 120-61-23. His career goals-against average is 2.42 with a .917 save percentage.
Howard, who is currently in the second year of a two-year, $4.5 million deal (via capgeek.com), is still 28 years old and looks to be coming into his prime.
Obviously, the Red Wings feel with this possible six- or seven-year extension that he is the goalie of the future for them and can lead them to a Stanley Cup.
While Howard has numbers below his career averages this season, many fans feel that it has to do with all the injuries the Red Wings have had to contend with over the course of the season, as well as the retirement of defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. Howard has a 2.46 GAA and .914 save percentage, but so far in March he has been fantastic. In four games, Howard has a 0.96 GAA, .965 save percentage and one shutout.
The Red Wings have a highly rated goalie prospect in their system—Petr Mrazek, 21, who was thought to be the goalie of the future.
Mrazek played in two games with the Red Wings this season and went 1-1 with a 2.01 GAA and .921 save percentage. Over those two games, Mrazek showed poise and gave the Red Wings a glimpse into what can be expected of him in the NHL.
If Howard re-signs, then the Red Wings might attempt to trade Mrazek for a defenseman.
With this extension, the Red Wings could address their goalie situation long-term and acquire a young player for a prospect who appears not to have a future in Detroit. It looks like a win-win all around if Khan's report is correct.
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