The Detroit Red Wings are coming off one of the worst seasons in the entire history of the National Hockey League and, as you would expect given a statement like that, many of their players did not look very good last year either. One of the players who shouldered a ton of the criticism last season was veteran goaltender Jimmy Howard who had by far the worst season of his career in the NHL.
Howard appeared in just 27 games for the Red Wings over the course of the whole season, recording an abysmal 4.20 goals against average and an ugly .882 save percentage. Howard was also limited as a result of injuries during the last season and at 36 years of age and with his contract expiring there are many who expect he will not be back for another season. On Sunday Jimmy Howard himself addressed those rumors and made a pretty definitive statement on his future with the Red Wings and a very definitive statement on his future within the NHL.
"Probably not," said Howard on his future with the Red Wings as per Elliotte Friedman.
In spite of the fact that he does not expect to be back in Detroit next season, Howard made it clear that he intends to play in the NHL again and it sounds like he will be open to taking offers from whoever is willing to give him one at this point.
"Someone is going to have to tell me I can’t play anymore," said Howard.
I don't honestly know what the market for Howard will be like given his performance last season but I could see a team viewing him as a potential backup goaltending option, especially given the wealth of experience he brings to the table. Howard has indicated that he started training two months ago in preparation for what will likely be a challenging free agency period for the veteran netminder, and has made it clear that the performance he displayed last season is not how he wants to go out.
I hope that Howard does get a chance at redemption at some point this season, but I would be lying if I said I have any clue where he might end up.