Jimmy Howard has no plans to retire from the NHL, but will “probably not” continue his career with the Detroit Red Wings, the 36-year-old goaltender told Sportsnet on Sunday.
Howard, who can become an unrestricted free agent on October 9, said he had been training for two months and discussed with his family the possibility of moving if playing somewhere near his home was not an option.
“I want to keep playing,” Howard told The Detroit News on June 5. “This year has left such a bitter taste in my mouth. I want to go out there and show people that I can still play in this league. I know I’m capable.
“Honestly, there is so much in the air. But at the same time, I’ve been in this game long enough to realize that there comes a time when you need to pull the ties apart. If that’s how it’s going to be, I’ve mentally prepared myself for it. My wife and I have talked about this a bit, and if it is to be, it will have to be. ”
Howard did not win a game after October 29, going 0-18-2 in his last 20 starts before the season was suspended on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. This is the second longest streak without a win since the shootout began in 2005-06; Cory Schneider was winless in 22 straight starts (0-17-4) for the New Jersey Devils from December 29, 2017 to February 14, 2019.
The Red Wings had the worst record (17-49-5) and worst point percentage (.275) in the NHL, missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the fourth straight season after qualifying the previous 25.
“Personally, I don’t think I represent these [statistics], but I played a big part in the program, ”Howard said.
Selected by Detroit in the second round (64th) of the 2003 NHL Draft, Howard is 246-196-70 with a 2.62 GAA, .912 save percentage and 24 shutouts in 543 season games. regular (523 starts) and 21-26 with a GAA of 2.58, a save percentage of 0.918 and three shutouts in 48 playoff games (47 starts). He is third in Red Wings history for wins and fourth for save percentage.
“I don’t think that extra time is necessarily a bad thing for me,” Howard said. “I can relax and refocus and approach next year with the confidence that I can play.… If I could keep playing for another year or two, I would be very happy to come back. ”