Red Wings chase goalie in free agency, fail to offer Howard a contract


Detroit Red Wings to seek free agency goalie after briefing longtime starter Jimmy Howard they won’t offer him a contract until the market opens on Oct. 9, CEO Steve Yzerman said.

” There are many [goalies] that today looks like they’ll be in the market next week, and we’ll look to fill the position with that, ”Yzerman said Thursday.The list of goalies who can become unrestricted free agents includes Craig Anderson, Corey Crawford, Aaron Dell, Brian Elliott, Thomas Greiss, Braden Holtby, Anton Khudobin, Robin Lehner, Jacob Markstrom, Ryan Miller, Mike Smith and Cam Talbot.

Henrik Lundqvist was added to that group when the New York Rangers bought out the final season of his contract on Wednesday.

” Without [an interview period] to talk to free agents, we have to wait until October 9 to really get a good idea of ​​the interests of these players and the parameters of the contracts, ”Yzerman said. So we’ll have a better idea afterwards. the week. ”

The Red Wings are generally looking for shorter-term free agency deals due to their rebuilding and the League’s financial outlook.

“I would say we’ll be relatively conservative,” Yzerman said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as to what the economic landscape of the NHL will look like over the next two years.

“I wouldn’t exclude anything. Again, this must make sense. The contract must have a meaning … [average annual value], or what you have to pay the player, and the term according to his age. We’re not opposed to anything, but it must make sense. ”

The Red Wings are also looking to use their space under the NHL salary cap to acquire future assets from teams seeking relief, as they did when acquiring the defenseman. Marc Staal and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft in a trade with the Rangers for future considerations on Saturday.

Video: NHL Now on Red Wings acquires Marc Staal

The first round of the 2020 NHL Draft is Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS). Rounds 2-7 are Wednesday (11:30 a.m.ET; NHLN, SN). The Red Wings have 10 caps, including the No. 4 in the first round.

The project will be held virtually. It was scheduled for June 26 to 27 at the Bell Center in Montreal but was postponed to March 25 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

“I can’t tell you how much action there will be, but I know we are in constant [communication] Yzerman said. You are on your phone most of the day every day before the project. Some teams have different goals to achieve right now.

“There’s just a lot of uncertainty, I think, around the League. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen on October 9 with a free agency, what’s going to happen in the market. Is it going to be business as usual? Are the teams going to be more conservative? I really do not know.

“You talk to some of the clubs that… our position, teams that have to make moves based on the salary cap and see if there’s an aptitude to do any of those things. So how much is accomplished, I don’t. but I know we’ll all be working on the phone somehow. ”

Howard has spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the Red Wings, who selected him in the second round (64th) of the 2003 NHL Draft.

In 2009-2010, he was the finalist for the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year. Among Detroit’s goaltenders in history, he ranks third in games (543) and wins (246), and fourth in shutouts (24).

But the 36-year-old is 2-23-2 with a 4.20 goals-against average and 0.882 save percentage in 27 games (27 starts) this season, playing on a contract for a year he signed with Detroit on March 20. 2019.

Jonathan bernier went 15-22-3 with a GAA of 2.95, a save percentage of .907 and a shutout in 46 games (41 starts). The 32-year-old has one more season on the three-year contract he signed with Detroit on July 1, 2018.

Yzerman said the Red Wings have had ongoing talks with restricted free agents on hold Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha and is confident that they can get the attackers under contract.

Their other restricted free agents on hold are defenders Madison Bowey and forward Christoffer Ehn, Adam Erne, Brendan Perlini and Dmytro Timashov.

“We have decisions to make on some of our [pending restricted free agents], whether we’re actually going to qualify them, or not qualify them and offer them contracts, or not qualify them and let them go, ”Yzerman said. “We have time to make that decision, and honestly we” It’s just a matter of weighing the options, if any, before making those final decisions. ”


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