Jimmy Howard

Last updated

Jimmy Howard
Howard with the Red Wings in 2010
Born (1984-03-26) March 26, 1984 (age 35)
Ogdensburg, New York, U.S.
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 218 lb (99 kg; 15 st 8 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
NHL team Detroit Red Wings
National teamFlag of the United States.svg  United States
NHL Draft 64th overall, 2003
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 2005present

James Russell Howard III (born March 26, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL). Howard was runner up in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy following the 2009–10 NHL season as the NHL's rookie of the year.


Playing career


Howard began his junior career playing for the Westport Rideaus of the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League, [1] where he played from ages 14–16 before joining the U.S. National Team Development Program. He played with the U.S. National Under-17 and U.S. National Under-18 teams during the 2001–02 season, playing 9 games with the Under-17 team and 26 games with the Under-18 team for a total record of 22–11–1 with four shutouts and was subsequently named USA Goaltender of the year. [2] Howard then attended the University of Maine and played for their men's ice hockey team, the Maine Black Bears, for three seasons. While at UMaine, Howard led the Black Bears to the 2003–2004 Frozen Four championship game, losing 1–0 to the University of Denver. While Howard was playing for the Black Bears, he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. [3] During his three seasons with the Black Bears, Howard set team and league records. [3]


Beginning with the 2005–06 season, Howard began his career in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins where he was occasionally called up to play for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. He became the only NHL goalie to face a penalty shot in each of his first two games. [4] Howard's inaugural season in the AHL became what is still one of his best in professional ice hockey. During this season he set many personal records as well as franchise records, including being the first Griffin named to the AHL's All-Rookie Team and helping establish the Griffins franchise win streak record of 12. [2]

He was in net for the Red Wings four times in the 2005–06 season posting a 1–2–0 record, a GAA of 2.99 and a save percentage of .904. In the 2007–08 season during the month of February, Howard was in net for the Red Wings an additional four times, and called up once during the 2008–09 season, bringing his total NHL games played to 9.

Howard only played four games in the 2007–08 regular season and therefore did not qualify to have his name engraved on the cup. However, he was included in the 2008 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup picture, given the Cup for a day, [5] and awarded a Stanley Cup ring by the Red Wings' management. With the retirement of Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hašek in June 2008, Howard was expected to compete with Ty Conklin for the position beside Chris Osgood for the 2008–09 NHL season, despite Conklin's noticeable advantages in terms of experience and contract. Although Howard did not earn a permanent spot on the Red Wings roster for the 2008–09 season, he was expected to make the roster in the near future.

Howard at Joe Louis Arena on October 8, 2010 Anaheim Ducks vs. Detroit Red Wings Oct 8, 2010 58.JPG
Howard at Joe Louis Arena on October 8, 2010

Howard's roster spot turned official during 2009 off-season when Detroit did not offer Conklin a new contract, [6] instead electing to promote Howard to Osgood's full-time backup. He recorded his first win of the 2009–10 season on October 27 in relief of Chris Osgood against the Vancouver Canucks, making 20 saves. On December 17, 2009, Howard recorded his first career shutout in a 3–0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Howard won the starting position in mid-season and kept the role until the end of the season. Howard finished the 2009–10 season with excellent stats, ranking him in the top 5 in GAA and Save %, and finishing with a 37–15–10 record and a nomination for the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year. Howard gained more fame in the March 22, 2010 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins when he grabbed Sidney Crosby from behind and put his glove in Crosby's face, after Crosby repeatedly cross-checked Howard's teammate Henrik Zetterberg.

On April 14, 2010, Howard played in his first NHL playoff game, a 3–2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. On April 20, he recorded his first career playoff shutout, making 29 saves in a 3–0 win over the Coyotes. The Coyotes were eliminated by the Red Wings when Howard's first NHL playoff series went to seven games. The Detroit Red Wings were then eliminated by the San Jose Sharks in five games. Howard recorded a 2.75 goals against average with a .915 save percentage during the postseason. Howard was also a 2010 Calder Memorial Trophy finalist, but was runner-up to Buffalo's Tyler Myers. Howard won the 2010 Detroit Red Wings-Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association Rookie of the Year Award.

Howard recorded a 21 save shutout in Detroit's season opener against the Anaheim Ducks to kick off the 2010–11 NHL season. On February 28, 2011, Howard signed a two-year contract extension with the Red Wings worth $2.25 million per season. [7] The Red Wings lost in seven games to the San Jose Sharks in the 2nd round of the playoffs. [8]

On January 23, 2012, in the Red Wings' 49th game, Howard recorded his 30th win of the season, before the All-Star break. [9] The win was Detroit's 17th consecutive home victory and kept them in first place in the standings. Howard would win only five more games after the All-Star break, because of a broken finger on his stick hand suffered on February 3, 2012, that made him miss eight games, and a reoccurring groin injury later in the season that scratched him in seven other games. [10]

During the lockout-shortened 2012–13 NHL season, Howard recorded a 21–13–7 record as the Red Wings eventually clinched their 22nd consecutive playoff berth. On April 16, 2013, Howard signed a six-year, $31.8 million contract extension with the Red Wings. [11]

During the 2014–15 NHL season, Howard recorded a 16–7–7 record, with a 2.11 GAA and a .921 save percentage prior to the All-Star break. Howard was named to the NHL All-Star Game, however he was unable to participate due to suffering a groin tear on January 10, in a game against the Washington Capitals, and missed five weeks of the season. [12] [13] Following his return from his injury, Howard recorded a 7–6–4 record, with 2.99 GAA and a .896 save percentage. [14]

Howard's performance declined further in the 2015–16 season, and youngster Petr Mrazek got more starts throughout the season than Howard. However, on April 6, 2016, Howard recorded his 22nd shutout victory as a Red Wing against the Philadelphia Flyers in a 3-0 game at Joe Louis Arena moving him to fourth in franchise history.

On December 20, 2016, Howard acquired a right knee sprain. Opposing starting goalkeeper Ben Bishop was also injured during the game. Howard was assigned to the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins on February 4, 2017 for a conditioning assignment, but was eventually called back up to the NHL. Ultimately, Howard played in 26 NHL games, going 10–11–1 with a 2.10 GAA, and a .927 SV%, and in 4 AHL games, going 3–1 with a 2.11 GAA, and a .920 SV%

On October 5, 2017, Howard recorded his 200th career NHL win in a victory over the Minnesota Wild in the season opening game at Little Caesars Arena. [15] On February 14, 2019, Howard appeared in his 500th career NHL game, becoming the third Red Wings goalie to reach the milestone, following Terry Sawchuk and Chris Osgood. He also became the 71st in NHL history and eighth American-born goalie to reach the milestone. [16] On March 20, the Red Wings signed Howard to a one-year contract extension. [17]

International play

Medal record
Representing Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Men's ice hockey
World U18 Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2002 Slovakia

In April 2002, Howard was first selected to play for the United States in the 2002 IIHF World U18 Championships in Slovakia. Playing in six tournament games, he led his team to a Gold Medal. [2] He made his Senior international debut representing the United States at the 2012 World Championships, collecting five wins in seven games despite finishing in 7th place.

Howard was named to the Team USA squad for the 2014 Winter Olympics, as the country's third choice goaltender. He did not feature in a game throughout the tournament.

Howard represented the United States at the 2017 World Championships, where he posted a 4–2 record, with a 1.86 GAA.


Personal life

He is married to Rachel Howard. In October 2011, Rachel gave birth to the couple's first son. [19]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
2001–02 U.S. National U-17 NAHL 9630  13.67 
2001–02U.S. National U-18NAHL261681  31.89 
2002–03 University of Maine HE 2114601,1514732.45.916
2003–04 University of MaineHE2214431,3642761.19.956
2004–05 University of MaineHE39191372,3107461.92.924
2005–06 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 3827622,1419222.58.91014677634403.46.885
2005–06 Detroit Red Wings NHL 41202001002.98.904
2006–07 Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL49212132,77612562.70.9117344341401.93.927
2007–08 Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL54212823,09714622.83.907
2007–08 Detroit Red WingsNHL4020197702.13.926
2008–09 Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL45211842,64411242.54.91610465982402.41.900
2008–09 Detroit Red WingsNHL101059404.10.857
2009–10 Detroit Red WingsNHL633715103,74014132.26.92412577203312.75.915
2010–11 Detroit Red WingsNHL63371753,61516822.79.90811746732802.50.923
2011–12 Detroit Red WingsNHL57351743,36011962.13.9205142951302.64.888
2012–13 Detroit Red WingsNHL42211372,4468752.13.92314778593512.44.924
2013–14 Detroit Red WingsNHL512119113,00413322.66.910312178612.02.931
2014–15 Detroit Red WingsNHL532313112,97112122.44.91010020103.00.917
2015–16 Detroit Red WingsNHL37141451,9749222.80.906202118703.59.891
2016–17 Detroit Red WingsNHL26101111,3974912.10.927
2016–17 Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL4310227812.11.920
2017–18 Detroit Red WingsNHL60222793,36816012.85.910
2018–19 Detroit Red WingsNHL55232253,05315603.07.909
NHL totals5162441736829,3831,247242.55.9144821262,86412332.58.918


2002 United States U18 Gold medal icon.svg6360811.33.954
2003 United States WJC 4th379806.08.800
2012 United States WC 7th75204211712.42.910
2014 United States OG 4th0
2017 United StatesWC5th64203551111.86.920
Junior totals94391613.71.877
Senior totals139407762822.14.915

Awards and honors

HE All-Rookie Team 2003
HE Rookie of the Year2003
HE First All-Star Team 2004
AHCA East Second All-American Team 2004
Hockey East All-Tournament Team 2004 [20]
Tournament MVP2004
HE Goaltender of the Year2004
All-Rookie Team 2006 [21]
All-Star Game 2008
NHL All-Rookie Team 2010
NHL All-Star 2012, 2015*, 2019
Top 3 player on Team 2012

*injured, did not play

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  7. CBSSports.com wire reportsMay 12, 2011 (May 12, 2011). "NHL Recap — Detroit Red Wings at San Jose Sharks — May 12, 2011". CBSSports.com. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
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Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sean Collins
Hockey East Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Michel Léveillé
Preceded by
Sean Fields
William Flynn Tournament Most Valuable Player
Succeeded by
Brian Boyle
Preceded by
Matti Kaltiainen
Hockey East Goaltending Champion
Succeeded by
Matti Kaltiainen