Howard 'probably not' returning to Red Wings, but retirement off the table

As the NHL off-season creeps closer, another player has entered the goaltending market.

Jimmy Howard, who has spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings, has said he was "probably not" going to continue playing for Detroit, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Saying farewell to the Motor City does not mean walking away from hockey altogether, though, as Howard also squashed rumours of his potential retirement.

"Someone is going to have to tell me I can't play anymore," Howard said, according to Friedman.

The 36-year-old indicated that the way last season ended -- with a 2-27 record, his worst as a starter, a 4.20 goals-against average and a .882 save percentage -- was not how he wanted to finish his career.

To that end, Howard added he has been training for two months to prepare for a return to the game and has discussed with his family the possibility of moving away for a year if playing somewhere closer to home is not an option.

Howard, drafted by the Red Wings in the second round, 64th overall, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft has been a mainstay in the team's crease since his rookie season -- when he finished as the runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's rookie of the year.

Throughout his Red Wings tenure, he owns a 246-196 record, .912 save percentage and a 2.62 goals-against average.

The two-time all-star signed a one-year, $4 million contract extension in 2019 that kept him in Detroit through the end of the 2019-20 season and will enter this off-season as an unrestricted free agent.

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