The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to a six-year contract extension, according to the team's official Twitter feed. Aaron Ward, who initially reported the team was negotiating with their star goalie, gave us some potential contract numbers for the talented keeper.
It's Official: Red Wings sign goaltender Jimmy Howard to six-year deal.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 16, 2013
Sounds like Detroit Red Wings and Jimmy Howard are on the verge of coming to terms on a 6 year deal paying in the range of 5.3 M per #TSN— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) April 11, 2013
Howard has been a workhorse for the Red Wings during the lockout-shortened season. He's started 33 of the team's 39 games, accumulating a 16-12-4 record. He's also posted a 2.41 goals against average and a save percentage .917. Those numbers are identical to his career stats.
The team also posted some thoughts from GM Ken Holland on inking the star goaltender to the extension.
Ken Holland: "Jimmy is one of our most valuable players who is entering the prime of his career.He gives a chance to win every night."— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 16, 2013
Detroit drafted Howard in the second round of the 2003 draft. It took the now 29-year-old goaltender six years to establish himself as the starter, but he's taken the job and run with it. He won at least 35 games in each of his first three seasons.
What's your opinion of the extension?
It's a streak that will end due to the lockout, but he's helping the Red Wings cling to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Detroit currently holds a one point edge over the Phoenix Coyotes with nine games left in the regular season.
Often times players don't like ongoing contract talks during a key part of the season. It clearly not an issue for Howard or the Red Wings. The franchise netminder has played some of his best hockey over the past couple months.
Having a player like Howard, who the Red Wings can send out there every night and expect a strong performance, is key to building a successful franchise. So it's no surprise to see them lock him up for the long haul.