2. Jimmy Howard
Jimmy Howard is the highest paid goaltender on this list and arguably the hardest to acquire for the Columbus Blue Jackets considering his importance to the Detroit Red Wings if they continue to perform well this season.
Howard is in the final year of a 6 year deal with the Red Wings, where he’s spent his entire career to this point. The contract carries a hefty cap hit of roughly $5.3M, however the Blue Jackets could afford to add that salary for this year and since it’s the final year there would be no long term financial issues.
Howard is off to a phenomenal start this season, with a .922 save percentage and a goals against average of 2.70 through his first 18 games. Howard has been pushing the Wings to a pleasant surprise of a start for head coach Jeff Blashill.
He’s been in trade rumors with the St. Louis Blues according to NBC Sports and as a result, it makes sense that the Red Wings would be willing to make a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. While trading out of the conference would likely be ideal for Ken Holland, it shouldn’t be a necessity.
The biggest question is how high of an asking price the Red Wings would have for a rental Howard considering his value is currently on the rise. While it would be a high price to pay more than likely, Howard would be the most reliable and less risky option so far on the list. With an expiring deal and a resurgent year, Howard is one of the biggest question marks of the goaltending market.