A Closer Look at Howard’s Contract

So it’s been a few days and I’d thought I’d take a closer look at our boy Jimmah’s new contract.  $2.25 million per year; was this a Detroit discount?  Market value?  Or did we overpay for the tender?  Let’s take a look at Howard’s contract compared to those for other young goaltenders signing their second contracts recently. 

Signed in 2010

  • Jonas Hiller – $18M over 4 years – $4.0M per. 
  • Antti Niemi – $15.2M over 4 years – $3.8M per.
  • Pekka Rinne – $6.8M over 2 years – $3.4M per.
  • Steve Mason – $5.8M over 2 years – $2.8M per.
  • Carey Price – $5.5M over 2 years – $2.75M per.
  • Jimmy Howard – $4.5 over 2 years – $2.25M per.
  • Ondrej Pavelec – $2.3M over 2 years – $1.15M per.

Signed in 2009

  • Cam Ward – $37.8M over 6 years – $6.3M per.
  • Jonathan Quick – $5.4M over 3 years – $1.8M per. 

At a quick glance Howard is the third lowest paid goaltender on the list and certainly not the third worst.  I would put Howard’s overall worth to be somewhat near what Mason’s is right now.  Mason might be a bit more talented, but Howard certainly is more consistent at this point.  So his $2.25M looks good even to Mason’s reasonable $2.8. 

Compared to Niemi, someone whom I think was incredibly overpaid by San Jose, Howard’s contract looks great.  I really think someone (Doug Wilson) overpaid for a cup ring there.  Yes he’s hot right now, but even so, I’d take Howard any day of the week. 

Ward seems high for a goaltender these days at $6.3M.  I think his style and play would be most comparable to Howard of anyone in the league.  However, he does have a few years of experience (and a Conn Smyth trophy) to go along with it.  Still, those only aren’t worth $4M more than our Jimmy.   I’d also argue that HIller is overpaid at 4M per. 

Pavelec is a quality, though unproven goaltender at $1.15.  Howard has shown he can win as a #1, Pavelac has not. 

Rinne is a young, but incredibly talented (and one of the few goaltenders that scare me in the playoffs).  He’s worth the $3.8 million per.  

 In fact, the only goaltender I’d say is a better value than Jimmy on the list is Jonathan Quick.  His stats are quality, he can steal a game or two and looks to be a great goaltender down in LA (with a hell of a name.)  But this contract isn’t perfectly comparable, as he signed this contract prior to last season, the season where he first really shined.  

So in the end, $2.25 for the Calder runner-up appears to be a great deal and includes a bit of a Detroit discount.  Howard still has a lot to prove, but he’s certainly earned this contract.