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Howard: Deal to remain a Wing is close

Goalie hopes to sign six-year extension by end of the weekend

Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 12:51 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Howard: Deal to remain a Wing is close

Jimmy Howard
Goalie - DET
RECORD: 16-12-4
GAA: 2.41 | SVP: 0.917
DETROIT Jimmy Howard is close to becoming the foundation for the Red Wings’ future.

On Thursday, the veteran goaltender confirmed that he and the organization are on the verge of finalizing a six-year contract extension that could wind up being worth a reported $5.3 million.

“It’s really, really close,” Howard said. “We’ll see. You never know. Hopefully by the end of the weekend.”

Howard said only “the little stuff” remains before the deal is settled, which will make Howard the fourth Wings’ player signed through the 2018-19 season, joining Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg.

Howard is the only goalie in team history to win at least 35 games in each of his first three seasons. He has a 16-12-4 record this year, his fourth season between the pipes. And while the 29-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., native struggled early on this season, but he’s rebounded enough to produce a 2.41 goals-against average with a .917 save percentage in 33 starts.

“Howie has worked hard and the organization has confidence in him,” coach Mike Babcock said. “It's important for us. We need good goaltending. Just how much parity there is, we need him each and every night and he's been excellent for us.”

Howard has been a workhorse since his rookie season when he became just the fourth goalie in franchise history to record 30-or-more wins in his freshmen season, joining Terry Sawchuk, Roger Crozier and Glenn Hall. Behind 37 wins and a 2.26 GAA, Howard was the runner-up to the Calder Trophy in 2010, which went to Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers.

Since then, Howard has been an All-Star and has won 126 career wins. He is just two wins shy of catching Tim Cheveldae (128), who is No. 5 all-time in franchise victories.

Howard could have become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but he said wanted to stay in Detroit.

“I wanted to be here,” said Howard, who will start tonight in a crucial game against the San Jose Sharks. “I get along great with everyone here. I believe in this organization … It feels good, I mean I’ve worked really, really hard, paid my dues in the minors and really became a professional. To see it pay-off here shortly is a good thrill for my family and I.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80