James “Jimmy” “Godpad” Howard (born March 26, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey goaltender for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. He was runner up in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy following the 2009-10 NHL Season as the NHL’s rookie of the year.
Jimmy Howard began his junior career playing for the Westport Rideaus of the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League, where he played from ages 14–16 before joining the U.S. National Team Development Program. He played with the U.S. National Under-17 and U.S. National Under-18 teams during the 2001–02 season, playing 9 games with the Under-17 team and 26 games with the Under-18 team for a total record of 22-11-1 with four shutouts. In April 2002, Howard played for the United States in the 2002 IIHF World U18 Championships in Slovakia. Playing in six tournament games, he led his team to a Gold Medal and was subsequently named USA goaltender of the year. Howard then attended the University of Maine and played for their men’s ice hockey team, the Maine Black Bears, for three seasons. While at UMaine, Howard led the Black Bears to the 2003-2004 Frozen Four championship game, losing 1-0 to the University of Denver on a controversial disallowed goal by Maine forward Derek Damon. While Howard was playing for the Black Bears, he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. During his three seasons with the Black Bears, Howard set team and league records.
Beginning with the 2005–06 season, Howard began his career in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins where he was occasionally called up to play for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. Howard’s inaugural season in the AHL became what is still one of his best in professional ice hockey. During this season he set many personal records as well as franchise records, including being the first Griffin named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team and helping establish the Griffins franchise win streak record of 12.
He was in net for the Red Wings four times in the 2005–06 season posting a 1-2-0 record, a GAA of 2.99 and a save percentage of .904. In the 2007–08 season during the month of February, Howard was in net for the Red Wings an additional four times, and called up once during the 2008–09 season, bringing his total NHL games played to 9.
Howard only played four games in the 2007–08 regular season and therefore did not qualify to have his name engraved on the cup. However, he was included in the 2008 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup picture, given the Cup for a day, and awarded a Stanley Cup ring by the Red Wings’ management. With the retirement of Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek in June 2008, Howard was expected to compete with Ty Conklin for the position beside Chris Osgood for the 2008–09 NHL season, despite Conklin’s noticeable advantages in terms of experience and contract. Although Howard did not earn a permanent spot on the Red Wing’s roster for the 2008–09 season, he was expected to make the roster in the near future.
Howard’s roster spot turned official during 2009 off-season when Detroit did not offer Conklin a new contract, instead electing to promote Howard to Osgood’s full time backup. He recorded his first win of the 2009-10 NHL Season on October 27 in relief of Chris Osgood against the Vancouver Canucks, making 20 saves. On December 17, 2009, Howard recorded his first career shutout in a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jimmy Howard won the starting position in mid-season and kept the role until the end of the season. Jimmy Howard finished the 2009-10 season with excellent stats, ranking him in the top 5 in GAA and Save %, and finishing with a 37-15-10 record and a nomination for the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year. Howard gained more fame in the March 22, 2010 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins when he grabbed Sidney Crosby from behind and put his glove in Crosby’s face, after Crosby repeatedly cross-checked Howard’s teammate Henrik Zetterberg.
On April 14, 2010, Howard played in his first NHL playoff game, a 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. On April 20, he recorded his first career playoff shutout, making 29 saves in a 3-0 win over the Coyotes. The Coyotes were eliminated by the Red Wings when Howard’s first NHL playoff series went to seven games. The Detroit Red Wings were then eliminated by the San Jose Sharks in five games. Howard recorded a 2.75 goals against average with a .915 save percentage during the postseason.
Howard recorded a 21 save shutout in Detroit’s season opener against the Anaheim Ducks to kick off the 2010–11 NHL season. On February 28, 2011, Howard signed a 2-year contract extension with the Red Wings worth $2.25 million per season.  The Red Wings lost in seven games to the San Jose Sharks in the 2nd round of the playoffs.
|Competitor for United States|
|Men’s ice hockey|
|World U18 Championships|
|Gold||2002 Slovakia||Ice hockey|
- Holds University of Maine school record for shutouts, goals against average
and save percentage. (holds all three records for both single season
- Was awarded a Legislative Sentiment by former Maine State Representative Chris Greeley in July of 2011, for his success as both a college and professional hockey player, and his work with kid’s hockey programs.
- Holds NCAA records for GAA(1.19) and save percentage(.954) – 2003–04.
- Only NHL goalie to face a penalty shot in each of his first two games.
- Named to the 2005–06 AHL All-Rookie team.
- Named the 2009-2010 Detroit Red Wings Rookie of the Year in voting by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
- Runner-up for the 2010 Calder Memorial Trophy
|2001–02||U.S. National U-17||NAHL||9||6||3||0||—||—||1||3.67||—|
|2001–02||U.S. National U-18||NAHL||26||16||8||1||—||—||3||1.89||—|
|2002–03||Maine Black Bears||H-East||21||14||6||0||1151||47||3||2.45||.916|
|2003–04||Maine Black Bears||H-East||22||14||4||3||1364||27||6||1.19||.956|
|2004–05||Maine Black Bears||H-East||39||19||13||7||2310||74||6||1.92||.924|
|2005–06||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||38||27||6||2||2141||92||2||2.58||.910|
|2005–06||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||4||1||2||0||200||10||0||2.98||.904|
|2006–07||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||49||21||21||3||2776||125||6||2.70||.911|
|2007–08||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||54||21||28||2||3097||146||2||2.83||.907|
|2007–08||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||4||0||2||0||197||7||0||2.13||.926|
|2008–09||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||45||21||18||4||2644||112||4||2.54||.916|
|2008–09||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||1||0||1||0||59||4||0||4.10||.857|
|2009–10||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||63||37||15||10||3740||141||3||2.26||.924|
|2010–11||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||63||37||17||5||3615||168||2||2.79||.908|
|2005–06||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||14||6||7||763||44||0||3.46||.885|
|2006–07||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||7||3||4||434||14||0||1.93|
|2009–10||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||12||5||7||720||33||1||2.75||.915|
|2010-11||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||11||7||4||673||28||0||2.49||.923|