The Pittsburgh Penguins are believed to be interested in Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, according to a report from TSN hockey reporter Frank Seravalli. And now the Penguins trade rumors are back.
Also according to Seravalli, the St. Louis Blues are checking in with Detroit about the 35-year-old Howard (8-6-3) who currently has a .922 save percentage and 2.70 goals against average. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
The speculated price to acquire Howard is a first-round pick, which St. Louis does not have, but the Penguins do. Howard’s cap hit is $5.29 million, and the Penguins would need to clear a few million dollars…if they are indeed interested.
TSN’s Trade Centre also put Murray in their top five goalies who could be traded. However, the inclusion of Murray on the list was based on speculation the Penguins “patience could wear thin” because of Murray’s injuries and inconsistency. Since winning the Stanley Cup, Murray has just a .901 save percentage.
The Penguins backup goalies Casey DeSmith, 27, and now Tristan Jarry have posted solid games and solid numbers in relief. DeSmith (6-3-3) has a .924 save percentage and 2.41 goals against average in 15 appearances stands well above Murray’ 2018-19 numbers (4-5-1. .877 SV%. 4.08 GAA).
Jarry, 23, was spectacular in his first start this season, last week against Boston but lost in overtime. He was shaky in the Penguins 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Wednesday. Colorado is the highest scoring team in the NHL. In 29 career NHL games, Jarry (14-8-3) has a .906 save percentage and a 2.84 goals against average.
Murray is in the second year of a three deal with a $3.75 million cap hit. The two-time Stanley Cup-winning goalie, who won both Cups before his rookie status expired, has struggled again this season and is again on IR with a lower body injury. It is the ninth injury of Murray’s short NHL career, including four lower body injuries including a torn groin, a broken hand, one upper body injury, and three concussions.
Earlier this season, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan did acknowledge Murray’s struggles and said the Penguins are trying to help Murray through them.