Signed in 2010
- Jonas Hiller - $18M over 4 years - $4.0M per.
- Antti Niemi - $15.2M over 4 years - $3.8M per.
- Pekka Rinne - $6.8M over 2 years - $3.4M per.
- Steve Mason - $5.8M over 2 years - $2.8M per.
- Carey Price - $5.5M over 2 years - $2.75M per.
- Jimmy Howard - $4.5 over 2 years - $2.25M per.
- Ondrej Pavelec - $2.3M over 2 years - $1.15M per.
Signed in 2009
- Cam Ward - $37.8M over 6 years - $6.3M per.
- Jonathan Quick - $5.4M over 3 years - $1.8M per.
At a quick glance Howard is the third lowest paid goaltender on the list and certainly not the third worst. I would put Howard's overall worth to be somewhat near what Mason's is right now. Mason might be a bit more talented, but Howard certainly is more consistent at this point. So his $2.25M looks good even to Mason's reasonable $2.8.
Compared to Niemi, someone whom I think was incredibly overpaid by San Jose, Howard's contract looks great. I really think someone (Doug Wilson) overpaid for a cup ring there. Yes he's hot right now, but even so, I'd take Howard any day of the week.
Ward seems high for a goaltender these days at $6.3M. I think his style and play would be most comparable to Howard of anyone in the league. However, he does have a few years of experience (and a Conn Smyth trophy) to go along with it. Still, those only aren't worth $4M more than our Jimmy. I'd also argue that HIller is overpaid at 4M per.
Pavelec is a quality, though unproven goaltender at $1.15. Howard has shown he can win as a #1, Pavelac has not.
Rinne is a young, but incredibly talented (and one of the few goaltenders that scare me in the playoffs). He's worth the $3.8 million per.
In fact, the only goaltender I'd say is a better value than Jimmy on the list is Jonathan Quick. His stats are quality, he can steal a game or two and looks to be a great goaltender down in LA (with a hell of a name.) But this contract isn't perfectly comparable, as he signed this contract prior to last season, the season where he first really shined.
So in the end, $2.25 for the Calder runner-up appears to be a great deal and includes a bit of a Detroit discount. Howard still has a lot to prove, but he's certainly earned this contract.