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Jimmy Howard joins Griffins for conditioning

Howard played 186 games for Grand Rapids from 2005-09

by Kyle Kujawa /

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today assigned goaltender Jimmy Howard to the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins for conditioning. Additionally, the Red Wings activated defenseman Brendan Smith from injured reserve.

Howard, 32, has been limited to 17 games for the Red Wings this season due to injury, sporting a 5-7-1 record. Among goalies with a minimum of 15 games played, Howard leads the NHL with a 0.934 save percentage and shares the league lead with a 1.96 goals-against average, matching Minnesota's Devan Dubnyk. Howard, who has not played since Dec. 20 in Tampa Bay, has totaled 392 games with the Red Wings since 2005-06 and has a 194-120-54 record, 2.43 goals-against average, 0.915 save percentage and 23 shutouts. The Syracuse, N.Y., native was also an Olympian on the United States' 2014 team in Sochi, Russia, and has also represented his country at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

A 12th-year pro, Howard began his professional career with the Griffins in 2005-06 and made 186 appearances with the team over four seasons. Howard owns a 90-73-11 record all time in the AHL, alongside a 2.67 goals-against average, 0.916 save percentage and 14 shutouts. Prior to turning pro, Howard spent three seasons at the University of Maine from 2002-05, where he posted a 47-23-10 record, 1.84 goals-against average, a 0.931 save percentage and 15 shutouts. Howard was originally drafted in the second round (64th overall) by the Red Wings in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

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