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Sometimes It’s The Moves You Don’t Make

If Jimmy Howard comes knocking on Ken Holland’s door, Holland ought to think twice.

NHL: FEB 29 Red Wings at Senators
Jimmy Howard wants one more year in the NHL. The Oilers would do best to enlist another.
Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of Ken Holland’s offseason needs is either a backup or a platoon goaltender. The former would probably cost less than the latter, though either would be acceptable for the right price.

The goaltender market is a little lean this year, but there’s no reason that the Oilers can’t have their goaltending situation remedied by the second or third day of the free agency period which will begin next month. Holland could also seek a trade and sew things up a little quicker if he sees the right deal.

If Jimmy Howard’s agent calls up Ken Holland, Holland ought to reminisce about the fine times about Jimmy Howard in Detroit. Holland will likely remember the 240 wins that Howard put up while the current Oiler GM was riding wild in Detroit. At the conclusion of the phone call, Holland might even tell Howard’s agent that he’ll keep in touch, because Holland ought to avoid Jimmy Howard in this year’s free agency crop.

Howard has played his entire career in Detroit. A second-round draft choice in 2003, Howard has gone on to post a career .912 SV%, he’s appeared in 48 playoff games between 2010 and 2015. He’s put up 24 shutouts in a nice if not spectacular career.

In his final year with the Red Wings, Howard’s numbers fell off a cliff. Rather, a canyon. Howard’s .882 SV% (and 2-23-2 record) over 27 games likely signal the end of a respectable NHL career that’s lasted over ten full NHL seasons. Anyone investing in a year of Jimmy Howard will likely see some bounce back from a .882SV%, but I’m not sure any deal will see enough bounce back to make it worth a club’s investment.

If Howard can find work, he’s going to play for another season. It wouldn’t surprise me to read about his agent ringing up his old GM Ken Holland, especially if the Oilers are without a backup goaltender into November or December.

For Edmonton’s sake, Holland would be wise to steer clear of a reunion.