It sounds like long time Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard intends to go out on his own terms.
Howard, who has not signed a contract for the 2020 - 2021 National Hockey League regular season, has reportedly informed those interested in his services that he is currently enjoying spending time with his family and is coaching his kids in the sport of hockey. What this means is that Howard intends to begin the process of retiring from the NHL, an announcement that is now expected at any moment.
On Saturday NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that one of the interested parties to contact Howard had been his former general manager in Detroit, now Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland. The Oilers lost veteran goaltender Mike Smith to injury last week while also losing goaltender Anton Forsberg on waivers, an unfortunate coincidence that has left them scrambling for a goaltender even after picking up netminder Troy Grosenick on waivers. Holland however was reportedly informed by Howard that he would not be available to help the Oilers.
"Ken Holland did call someone he is very familiar with, Jimmy Howard, and the answer from Jimmy Howard was 'I am happy with my family, I am coaching with my kids.' He is putting retirement in motion, I would expect an announcement on his social media channels in the next couple days," said Friedman on the NHL broadcast.
A situation like the one in Edmonton is about as good a situation that Howard could have hoped for coming off what was a terrible final season for him with the Detroit Red Wings. The fact that even an offer like this, one where he would presumably get a decent amount of ice time as the top backup to Mikko Koskinen, wasn't enough to motivate him to come back tells me that Howard is well and truly done in the NHL.
I can hardly blame the man after seeing how similar situations with Corey Crawford and Henrik Lundqvist have played out this season, both veterans signed with new teams after spending their entire career in one place only to call it quits before the season even began albeit for different reasons. The fact that Howard can say he was a Red Wing his whole career and never faltered may also carry some special meaning for him, especially after seeing how things played out for Crawford and Lundqvist.