Former Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard remains an unrestricted free agent after GM Steve Yzerman made the decision last offseason to not offer the veteran netminder a new contract.
The 2020-21 NHL Season kicked off earlier this week, and so far, Howard is still watching games on television rather than playing in them. Did the door just open for a return to the National Hockey League?
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith was placed on Long Term Injured Reserve earlier today, with the young and unproven Olivier Rodrigue being recalled.
The #oilers have placed Mike Smith on LTIR — meaning an absence of at least 24 days or 10 games — while recalling Olivier Rodrigue from the Austrian League to join their taxi squad.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 16, 2021
Of course, the Oilers are now led by former Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, whom we all know has a special affinity for veteran players.
One of the remaining free-agent veteran goaltenders in Craig Anderson was snatched up by the Washington Capitals after the news of Henrik Lundqvist’s heart issues became public.
With 246 career wins with a save percentage of .912 and 24 shutouts in 543 career games, Howard insisted that he still has more left in the tank and didn’t intend on hanging up his pads just yet when Yzerman’s decision was made public.
Rather than risk further complications in the form of a potential injury to Mikko Koskinen and having to rely on Rodrigue, Holland could very well elect to turn to an old friend.