Veteran goaltender Jimmy Howard has officially hung up his pads, announcing his retirement on Instagram. The long-time Detroit Red Wings netminder released a statement, thanking his fans and teammates as he moves on to the next part of his adventure:
Becoming an NHL goalie was a childhood dream and after an incredible 14 years within the Red Wings organization, I’ve decided to say farewell to playing professional hockey and move on to the next chapter. It has been the honor of a lifetime to play and I’m forever thankful to the fans, everyone within the Red Wings organization, my teammates and my family for their ongoing support, loyalty and dedication. As I enter this new chapter in my life, I look forward to spending more time with my family, coaching my son’s hockey team and new opportunities the future will hold.
From his selection in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, to his final appearance on February 27, 2020, Howard was a Red Wing. Some teams, including the Edmonton Oilers, led by his former GM Ken Holland, tried to talk him out of retirement this winter, but it’s over for the 36-year-old. Howard ends a long career with 543 regular season appearances plus 48 more postseason games, over a 14-year span.
It might surprise you to find out that puts Howard at 62nd all-time among goaltenders, tied with Marty Turco and just a few games being Hall of Famer Johnny Bower. His 246 wins tie him for 61st, also an impressive achievement for a goaltender that almost never received Vezina Trophy votes. A beating heart of the Red Wings for the last decade-plus, Howard will get to go out without ever pulling on a different sweater.