With the trade deadline quickly approaching, we will be profiling several players in the weeks ahead that are likely to be dealt by March 1st.
Another trade candidate, another Red Wing. This time, we’ll look at veteran netminder Jimmy Howard, who has been the subject of trade rumors since last summer.
Six-year, $31.750MM deal. Three years remaining. $5.291MM AAV.
In a season where the Red Wings have struggled tremendously, Howard has been the antidote to a team hemorrhaging goals. While Petr Mrazek was expected to be the stalwart in net, it’s been Howard and rookie Jared Coreau picking up the slack for Detroit. Howard, however, has succumbed to injury twice this season, but is close to coming back. The real question is which Howard will return? The dominant one? Or the Howard of seasons past, who has struggled to find his groove following injury?
GP: 17 (15 started): 5-7-1; .934 sv%; 1.96 GAA; .667 QS%
When healthy, Howard has been extremely good for the Red Wings. This season alone, on a team that is dreadful at both ends of the ice, Howard has stolen games while keeping the Wings in games they should have been out of early.
Dallas is one team to look at, especially since former Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill is there. Though the Stars are trying to figure out what they are, Howard could be an asset with two years remaining and numbers that are certainly better than that of what the Stars currenly have in Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen. But outside of familiarity, there are few teams on the radar.
While Howard could fetch offers, there is one key reason he will scare off potential buyers.
Likelihood Of A Trade
Howard’s contract is a hinderance to any team interested. Still locked in for two seasons with over $10MM owed, few teams are going to bite on a deal that involves a strong performing, but injury prone goalie. While Howard’s name has been mentioned before, the Wings couldn’t peddle him elsewhere last summer. There are also rumblings that Detroit could be growing impatient with Mrazek, and may dangle Mrazek as trade bait. But that could be speculation in a season that has been disastrous for a franchise not used to losing as often–and as badly–as they have been.