One goaltender that has come up a few times in recent weeks as a potential signing is Jimmy Howard. While the veteran had a disastrous 2019-20 season, he still could have filled some of the recent vacancies that had opened up. The Oilers were the latest to kick the tires, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports in the latest Saturday Headlines segment (video link) in light of the placement of Mike Smith on LTIR. However, those overtures were rebuffed with Howard deciding that he’s going to retire; an official announcement is expected in the near future.
If it is indeed the end of the road for the 36-year-old, he’ll be able to hang up his skates with the satisfaction of a solid career. A late second-round pick in 2003, Howard made it as a full-time regular in 2009-10 at the age of 25, a little later than most netminders although he did see a handful of games in three prior seasons. He immediately stepped into the number one role, a spot that he held for the majority of his tenure with the Red Wings. While last season’s performance certainly negatively affected his career totals, Howard will still leave with a career 2.62 GAA with a .912 SV% and 24 shutouts in 543 appearances.
Meanwhile, Edmonton’s search for short-term goalie help will continue. Even with the recall of Olivier Rodrigue and the claiming of Troy Grosenick, both are facing a two-week quarantine before they can report. Aaron Dell is on waivers today (and it seems somewhat likely he’ll be claimed by Edmonton if he makes it that far down the priority list) but even he’d need a seven-day waiting period to join them. To that end, Friedman notes that the Oilers are considering looking at amateur options in Toronto and Winnipeg (their upcoming road opponents over the next week) that could bypass the quarantine period and give them a third available option beyond starter Mikko Koskinen and current backup Stuart Skinner.