Update: It's not offically offical yet, but it is pretty darn close. Holland says the sides haven't agreed yet, but per Craig Custance – Jimmy Howard on new deal: "It's really, really close."
Sounds like Detroit Red Wings and Jimmy Howard are on the verge of coming to terms on a 6 year deal paying in the range of 5.3 M per #TSN
— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) April 11, 2013
So six years at $5.3M per year. I can deal with that. Jimmy is one step below an absolute elite goalie and this pays him as such. Take a look at these comparisons
Howard: .917 career, $5.3MM x 6. Rinne: .920, $7MM x 7. Price: .916, $6.5MM x 6. Quick: .914, $5.8MM x 10. Not bad by Wings.
— 67Sound (@67sound) April 11, 2013
I think this makes sense in today's world. Plus, I think Howard is just that tiny step away from being an absolute elite goalie in the world. He can make that step in the next few years.
Two more things though about this signing, after the jump:
First is the term. Six years is a long time. He'll be 35 at the end of this contract. Hopefully he won't pull a Bryz and lose it.
Second is the remaining cap available. According to everyone, that leaves $12.3M to sign Brunner, Filppula, Smith, Nyquist, Kindl, Andersson, Cleary and Miller.
Obviously, that's not enough for everyone and I think that Cleary will be gone. I also think a buyout will be used for Sammy, which will save Detroit $2M next year. Here's my guesses on salary then, with absolutely no idea on term:
Smith – $2M
Nyquist – $1.5M
Kindl – $1.5M
Andersson – $750K
That would leave around $4M to sign Fil, which I think would be fair to both parties. I wouldn't want to pay any more, but I wouldn't want to see him leave either. Plus, that leaves $2M left over.
In all, this is good for Detroit. Howard keeps Detroit's goaltending solid for years to come and gives Petr a chance to become a legit star in Grand Rapids.
Howie's our boy.