DETROIT – Jimmy Howard will not enter free agency this summer.
The 34-year-old goalie has signed a 1-year contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings, the team announced Wednesday. This season he has played 48 games for Detroit, posting a 3.05 GAA and .908 save percentage. He was named to the NHL All-Star Game for the third time in his career.
The rumor all season had been that the Red Wings were shopping Howard for a first-round pick at the trade deadline with the intent of re-signing him in the offseason.
Howard didn't move at the deadline. His six-year contract is set to expire this summer, which would have allowed him to hit the free agency market. However, the Red Wings decided to sign him before the season ended.
TSN's Bob McKenzie reports the deal is worth a $5.1 million average annual value, but that $1.1 million is based on playoff bonuses. That means Howard is making $1.1 million less if the Red Wings don't make the playoffs in 2019-20. McKenzie also reported Howard's new contract does not have a no trade clause.
The Red Wings are nowhere near being a playoff team right now, meaning Howard will want to see a vast improvement by the start of next season -- there is real money on the line.
Howard was drafted by the Red Wings in 2003 when he was a star at the University of Maine. In parts of 13 seasons with the Red Wings he has appeared in 509 games with a career save percentage of .914.
As the Red Wings pointed out in their news release Wednesday, Howard is one of the most accomplished goaltenders in franchise history, ranking among franchise leaders with 509 games played (3rd among goalies), 240 wins (3rd) and 24 shutouts (4th), alongside a career 240-171-68 record.