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Jimmy Howard SIGNS!


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#1 SUPERSTUD

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 07:56 PM

http://goblackbears..../082405aaa.html

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Jimmy Howard Signs With Detroit
Leaves as Maine's career leader in shutouts, GAA and save percentage

Aug. 24, 2005

ORONO, Maine - The University of Maine men's ice hockey goalie Jimmy Howard has signed a professional contract with the Detroit Red Wings and will not return for his senior season. Howard played in 82 career games for Maine with a 1.84 goals against average and a .931 save percentage along with a school record 15 shutouts. He was Detroit's second round draft choice in 2003.

"Naturally I am disappointed that Jimmy will not be back with our team this season, but I am also very proud of Jim and excited for his future with Detroit," said head coach Tim Whitehead.

"I have been dreaming of playing in the National Hockey League all of my life, and to get one step closer to that goal is special," said Jimmy Howard. "I really enjoyed my three years at Maine. Playing in front of the greatest fans in college hockey is something that I will never forget. It has been a priviledge to wear the Maine sweater. I wish all my teammates the best this season."

Last season Howard played in 39 games with a 1.97 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. He posted six shutouts on the season, including four against Hockey East opponents, giving him a conference record nine career shutouts. He was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week four times and Hockey East Goalie of the Month in January. Following the season he earned Hockey East Honorable Mention honors.

In 2003-04, Howard recorded six shutouts in 22 games played and posted an amazing 1.19 goals against average and .956 save percentage, both of which set NCAA single-season records. He was named a second team All-American, Hockey East first-team all-conference and Hockey East ITECH Goaltending Champion. Howard set Hockey East regular season records with a 1.15 GAA and a .953 save percentage. He was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week four times and Hockey East Goalie of the Month three times.

As a freshman in 2002-03, he played in 21 games with a 2.45 GAA and a .916 save percentage on the way to being named Hockey East Rookie of the Year. He set the Maine record for consecutive scoreless minutes with 193:45 and had three shutouts. Howard was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and earned Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors three times, Defensive Player of the Week once and Rookie of the Month once.

The Black Bears will begin their season on October 7 against Air Force in the Icebreaker Tournament hosted by Colorado College. Maine will host two-time defending national champion Denver on October 14 and 15 in the Black Bears home opener.

Edited by SUPERSTUD, 24 August 2005 - 08:00 PM.


#2 westcoast

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 07:58 PM

So does this mean we have signed him to play in GR this year, or does this mean we are meaning to trade Manny.........?

#3 FunkyBlueFish203

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:02 PM

OMG THANK YOU JESUS!

I've been waiting for this news the ENTIRE off-season.

He will play in Grand Rapids. Turning pro is great news for him because while another year of college hockey wouldn't have hurt, this kid is ready to go pro. He's got the game. I hope he continues to do well and gets ready to assume full time duties in a couple of years.

Yes! biggrin.gif

"He sits next to Steve in that locker room for a reason -- because we wanted him to internalize some of those things. Steve was able to will this organization to unbelievable years with the three Stanley Cups, and now it's up to someone else. Z has that kind of will and that work ethic and that passion to be the best. It's going to be his time." -- Coach Mike Babcock

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#4 SUPERSTUD

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:03 PM

QUOTE (westcoast @ August 24, 2005 - 08:58PM)
So does this mean we have signed him to play in GR this year, or does this mean we are meaning to trade Manny.........?

I beleive it's to send him to GR, but that creates a situation. MacDonald in GR is a starter, Detroit has ozzie and Legacy. I don't see Jimmy as a back up to MacDonald...nor going to Toledo.

#5 J-Swift

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:10 PM

Maybe the Wings are trying to take things too fast. To me, it didn't seem like another year before going pro would've hurt Jimmy.

#6 redwings1914

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:24 PM

GREAT!
It is not a sprint, yet a marathon.

#7 FunkyBlueFish203

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:26 PM

No, going fast is what the Rangers did with Montoya. We drafted Jimmy in 2003 after his freshman year and he's played 2 years of college hockey since that summer. He set all sorts of crazy records in 2003-2004 and carried Maine to the NCAA championship game winning 13-straight 1-goal games along the way. They lost the final 1-0 to CC, a pure heartbreaker. He battled with injuries last season but came back to full speed and took Maine to the NCAA playoffs again. They lost another heartbreaker, this time to Minnesota.

Another year of college hockey wouldn't have hurt but he's gone as far as needed to go there. He's an excellent athlete, his side-to-side movement is incredible, he's quick with the glove and his anticipation is tremendous. He needed to take this step and move onto the next level. He needs to play in GR and use the next couple of years to get used to the schedule and grind of pro-hockey.

We have been very smart with him, very much like the Thrashers were with Kari Lehtonen. This is the right time. Howard is 21 years old right now and has franchise goalie written all over him. All he's got to do is continue to work hard and keep improving his game and he'll be playing with the big boys soon enough.

"He sits next to Steve in that locker room for a reason -- because we wanted him to internalize some of those things. Steve was able to will this organization to unbelievable years with the three Stanley Cups, and now it's up to someone else. Z has that kind of will and that work ethic and that passion to be the best. It's going to be his time." -- Coach Mike Babcock

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#8 beerandwings

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:31 PM

Now THAT is a good signing. It will take a couple years to get to the bigs, but c'mon, the guy has proven everything there is to prove! Time to go. And this is the best prospective defensman we have!


#9 J-Swift

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:32 PM

QUOTE (beerandwings @ August 24, 2005 - 09:31PM)
Now THAT is a good signing. It will take a couple years to get to the bigs, but c'mon, the guy has proven everything there is to prove! Time to go. And this is the best prospective defensman we have!

I think you meant best goaltender.

#10 joshy207

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE (FunkyBlueFish203 @ August 24, 2005 - 08:26PM)
No, going fast is what the Rangers did with Montoya.

You mean Blackburn? Montoya was also supposed to be a senior this year... Blackburn played a good chunk of the Rangers' games when he was 18.

#11 FunkyBlueFish203

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:52 PM

QUOTE (joshy207 @ August 24, 2005 - 08:43PM)
You mean Blackburn?  He played a good chunk of the Rangers' games when he was 18. Montoya, like Howard, was supposed to be a senior this year...


I meant Montoya.

Yes, Montoya was supposed to be a senior just like Howard but the difference lies between their skill set and development. Howard has the upper hand between these two. Montoya, a starter for the first time last season put up meek numbers. Not only did he struggle with U of M, he also failed to make an impact with Team USA at the WJC. He also ran out of gas at the end of the season. Montoya's glove/stick work needs improvement, his side to side movement is not the best, and he's the kind of guy who desperately needed another year of college hockey to hone his skills.

Throughout his years at Maine, Jimmy Howard has practically carried the BlackBears on his back while Montoya has had the fortune of playing on stacked teams. Heck, if it wasn't for an ankle injury that kept Howard out of the 2003 WJC, Montoya would've barely played a game for that gold-medal winning team and would not have been drafted as high.

I'm not saying Montoya is a bad goalie 'cause he's not. Right now he is a bucket-load of potential with much to prove. On the other hand, on the college hockey circuit, it doesn't get much better than Jimmy Howard. Simply check out his college career numbers. If you watch this kid play, you'll know what I mean. That's why I say Howard was ready for the next step, Montoya wasn't.

"He sits next to Steve in that locker room for a reason -- because we wanted him to internalize some of those things. Steve was able to will this organization to unbelievable years with the three Stanley Cups, and now it's up to someone else. Z has that kind of will and that work ethic and that passion to be the best. It's going to be his time." -- Coach Mike Babcock

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#12 eva unit zero

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 12:06 AM

QUOTE (FunkyBlueFish203 @ August 24, 2005 - 09:52PM)

I meant Montoya.

Yes, Montoya was supposed to be a senior just like Howard but the difference lies between their skill set and development. Howard has the upper hand between these two. Montoya, a starter for the first time last season put up meek numbers. Not only did he struggle with U of M, he also failed to make an impact with Team USA at the WJC. He also ran out of gas at the end of the season. Montoya's glove/stick work needs improvement, his side to side movement is not the best, and he's the kind of guy who desperately needed another year of college hockey to hone his skills.

Throughout his years at Maine, Jimmy Howard has practically carried the BlackBears on his back while Montoya has had the fortune of playing on stacked teams. Heck, if it wasn't for an ankle injury that kept Howard out of the 2003 WJC, Montoya would've barely played a game for that gold-medal winning team and would not have been drafted as high.

I'm not saying Montoya is a bad goalie 'cause he's not. Right now he is a bucket-load of potential with much to prove. On the other hand, on the college hockey circuit, it doesn't get much better than Jimmy Howard. Simply check out his college career numbers. If you watch this kid play, you'll know what I mean. That's why I say Howard was ready for the next step, Montoya wasn't.

Montoya was a three-year starter at UM, he was going to be a fourth-year starter had he stuck around.

And Montoya was PHENOMENAL with team USA, he led them to Gold.
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#13 Henkka

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 04:03 AM

Yeah, nice news! thumbup.gif thumbup.gif thumbup.gif

Btw, what is his official front name? There has been James, Jim and Jimmy in other sources. I think Jimmy is the nickname/calling name, but the official? Jim or James?
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#14 Henkka

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 04:08 AM

QUOTE (SUPERSTUD @ August 25, 2005 - 04:03AM)
I beleive it's to send him to GR, but that creates a situation.  MacDonald in GR is a starter, Detroit has ozzie and Legacy.  I don't see Jimmy as a back up to MacDonald...nor going to Toledo.

Does MacDonald have a contract? They gave him a qualifying offer, but I haven't heard from any source that he would have been accepted that.

?? unsure.gif

Edited by Henkka, 25 August 2005 - 04:08 AM.

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#15 TNBT

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 05:48 AM

This is awesome news!

Of all the young goalies in our system, Howard is the one guy I think could be a really top player at the NHL level. I really doubt though that he will be brought into the Wings team this season though. He did all there was for him to do in college, and now I think the Wings will want him to learn the extra stuff there is to learn from playing in the minors for a season or two before bringing him into the Wings team.

#16 FunkyBlueFish203

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 07:46 AM

QUOTE (eva unit zero @ August 25, 2005 - 12:06AM)
Montoya was a three-year starter at UM, he was going to be a fourth-year starter had he stuck around.

And Montoya was PHENOMENAL with team USA, he led them to Gold.

Yeah, you're right about the starter part but I'm still sticking to what I said. Montoya needed that one more year to develop more. His game needs a lot of work.

Also, I'm a big Team USA fan but there is no way Montoya "LED" that team to the gold medal. Just like the U of M teams Montoya has played on, Team USA's 2003 WJC team was stacked. From Parise to Kessler, they were a bunch of studs who practically sailed through that tournament before gutting out a win against Canada in the championship game.

Montoya failed to make an impact in the 2004 WJC, often giving up weak goals. He also ran out of steam with U of M last year, and yeah, his season numbers were pretty bad.

Again, he is not a bad goalie but IMO, he needed that senior year with U of M to get his playing time.

"He sits next to Steve in that locker room for a reason -- because we wanted him to internalize some of those things. Steve was able to will this organization to unbelievable years with the three Stanley Cups, and now it's up to someone else. Z has that kind of will and that work ethic and that passion to be the best. It's going to be his time." -- Coach Mike Babcock

DOPASAPA est. 2006, President


#17 SUPERSTUD

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 08:01 AM

QUOTE (Henkka @ August 25, 2005 - 05:08AM)
Does MacDonald have a contract? They gave him a qualifying offer, but I haven't heard from any source that he would have been accepted that.

?? unsure.gif

MacDonald is quoted as saying that he and the Wings are close to a deal.

#18 ToddDaGod

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 09:16 AM

f**king Fantastic!!! Best goddamn news all off season. A goaltender who has a knack for coming up HUGE in games that count, I can't wait. We now have a log-jam of goalies, which leads me to believe one of 2 things. MacDonald won't be back or we are gonna trade somebody. Howard didn't leave college a year early to play backup. And the only reason Montoya was drafted as high as he was was because of the world junior championship. Many people have now began to question if he shoulda went that high.

#19 RyanBarnes!

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 09:28 AM

FunkyBlueFish,

Will Howard be able to challenge McDonald for the starting role right away?

Sidenote: No wonder Detroit gave Liv the cold hand. No room whatsoever for him now. I don't think Liv will ever come and play in NA.
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#20 FunkyBlueFish203

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 09:50 AM

He's got an excellent game but it would be smart for him to take it slow. He can start as a backup and work his way into playing more games. College hockey schedule in NA is set up in such a way that majority of the games are only played on the weekends, so players are used to playing 2 days a week. This is why Howard will have to adjust to the schedule first and foremost. Secondly, the higher you go in skill level, the faster the pace is, so though Howard excelled at the college level, he will have to get used to the pace of the AHL. He can do it, he's got a great skillset. Even if he does well, the Griffins should start him off slow, and if he keeps doing well, he can slowly take over the starter's spot from MacDonald.

Jimmy will play in the rookie tournament in Traverse City and later head on to training camp. No matter how well he does there, he will play the season in Grand Rapids.

IMO, he should spend a minimum of 1 & 1/2 - 2 years in Grand Rapids. What this does, though, is it leaves Manny Legace as the odd man out. If Howard does well and in a season earns the starting role in Grand Rapids, MacDonald could be brought up to back up Chris Osgood and Legace could be traded to make room. Legace has some trade value and could fetch a decent winger in return if packaged with someone else.

"He sits next to Steve in that locker room for a reason -- because we wanted him to internalize some of those things. Steve was able to will this organization to unbelievable years with the three Stanley Cups, and now it's up to someone else. Z has that kind of will and that work ethic and that passion to be the best. It's going to be his time." -- Coach Mike Babcock

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