According to a report from NHL insider Darren Dreger of TSN, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is in play on the trade market. The 34 year old Howard is having a fantastic season this year with the Wings, going 7-6-3 with a 2.68 goals against average and .922 save percentage in 17 games so far. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent and comes with a reasonable cap hit of just $5.3 million.
The team reportedly interested in acquiring Howard? The rival St. Louis Blues.
"My sources tell me that the St. Louis Blues have paid considerable attention to Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings," Dreger stated yesterday on TSN’s "Insider Trading” segment.
Dreger went on to state that Blues scouts attended the Red Wings vs Columbus Blue Jackets game on Monday evening in order to more closely judge Howard. Dreger also states that the Red Wings’ asking price would be very high and that Howard could cost them a top prospect like Robert Thomas or Jordan Kyrou.
No word yet on whether an offer has been made and if Thomas and/or Kyrou are involved, but if the struggling Blues end up shipping out a top end prospect for a 34 year old pending UFA… well let’s just say things might get even uglier in St. Louis. The Blues are currently sitting at the bottom of the NHL’s Central Division standings and do NOT look like they’re about to qualify for a playoff berth this season. Is Howard going to be the player that pushes them back into the playoff mix?
Suffice it to say that Red Wings GM Ken Holland, whose team is in the middle of a lengthy rebuild, should jump at the chance of acquiring one of Thomas or Kyrou. The 19 year old Thomas has just one goal and seven points in his first 18 NHL games this season, but the former 20th overall pick from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft dominated the OHL last season with the London Knights and Hamilton Bulldogs, putting up a combined 24 goals and 75 points in just 49 games.
As for Kyrou the 20 year old was 3rd in the OHL with 39 goals and 109 points in 56 games with the Sarnia Sting last season and has two goals and five points in 11 games with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage this season. He also put up a single assist in nine games with the Blues to start the campaign.