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Howard hopes to end career with Red Wings

Goalie, who can become UFA after season, could be on move prior to Trade Deadline

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

DETROIT -- Jimmy Howard wants to stay with the Detroit Red Wings rather than go to a contender at the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline.

The goalie is in the last season of a six-year contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Howard could be moved prior to the Feb. 25 deadline, but said he would like to sign a new contract with Detroit. The 34-year-old has spent his entire 13-season NHL career with the Red Wings, and he and his wife, Rachel, have three children.

"Obviously I want to stay here," said Howard, whose 232 wins rank third in Red Wings history. "This city has become home, not only for myself but for my family as well. I definitely don't want to relocate at all. So it would mean the world to me to be able to end my career here in Detroit."

The Red Wings (16-22-7) are in seventh place in the Atlantic Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference, 12 points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

General manager Ken Holland said he would speak to Howard and his representatives within the next month to discuss the goalie's future.

"I want to see what they're thinking [in terms of a contract]," Holland said.

Howard has played at a high level for a rebuilding team allowing 33.8 shots per game, fifth-most in the NHL. He is 11-12-5 with a 2.79 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. Among NHL goaltenders who have played at least 30 games, his save percentage ranks fourth.

He will represent the Red Wings at the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game at SAP Center in San Jose on Jan. 26 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

"I do feel like I have a lot of good hockey left," Howard said. "I feel like I can keep going. Do I see the light at the end of the tunnel? Yeah. It's definitely there. I am getting older in this League. I realize that it's becoming a young man's League. But at the same time I want to keep playing. I'm having the time of my life."

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