The St. Louis Blues have already fired their head coach, and the trade option may be exercised by Doug Armstrong next.
Bob McKenzie had a pregame TV hit on NBCSN Wednesday evening, ahead of the Blues and Detroit Red Wings squaring off, and was asked why Jimmy Howard would potentially be a good fit for the Blues.
“Well, first and foremost, the St. Louis Blues’ goaltending hasn’t been good enough,” noted McKenzie. “Now, it’s not just on Jake Allen and Chad Johnson - not throwing the goaltenders entirely under the bus here. But, quite frankly, their goaltending hasn’t been nearly good enough, and it doesn’t help that a former St. Louis Blues goaltender in Carter Hutton is lights-out for the Buffalo Sabres - the story in the National Hockey League this year. 10 in a row for Buffalo and Carter Hutton playing lights-out.
“So yeah, I think that the St. Louis Blues are amongst a growing number of teams in the NHL that are looking for help in net. And my colleague Darren Dreger at TSN and NBCSN reported yesterday that St. Louis has been looking at Jimmy Howard.
“Now, Howard is an interesting guy, and we’ll talk about the Wings a little bit later. But he’s on an expiring contract. The Wings are not obliged to trade him. They don’t feel a burning desire to trade him. But for the right price, and not a soft deal at all, they may trade him.
“The Blues don’t have a first-round pick in this coming draft, and that would be the kind of currency that Detroit would be trading. They’re not going to make a soft deal just to get rid of Jimmy Howard, who’s been fantastic for them. So I think St. Louis is just looking at all of their options. They don’t have a first-round pick, which limits their possibilities. They’re not inclined, at all, to give up young players like Robert Thomas or Jordan Kyrou or some of the other people they’ve worked hard to draft and develop. So I’m not sure that they have the currency to do it.
“But by all accounts they were looking at Howard. They’re looking at all of their possibilities because, as I said, Doug Armstrong is not a very happy guy right now. He expects this team to be a playoff team, and if they don’t get better goaltending, they’re not going to be.”
Howard is in the final season of his six-year, $31.75 million contract, and he does not have any trade protection written into that pact for this year.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly