UMaine goalie Jimmy Howard deflects a shot against Boston College on April 8, 2004. Howard announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday Herb Swanson/Staff Photographer

Former University of Maine goaltender Jimmy Howard, who played his entire 14-year NHL career in Detroit, announced his retirement Thursday with a post on his Instagram account.

Jimmy Howard smiles after Maine defeated Boston College 2-1 on April 8, 2004. Herb Swanson/Staff Photographer

Howard, 36, ranks third on the franchise list in games played (543) and wins, with a record of 246-196-70. Only Terry Sawchuk and Chris Osgood played in and won more games for Detroit.

Howard, a second-round draft pick in 2003, is fourth on the club’s all-time list in shutouts (24) and posted a goals-against average of 2.62 and a save percentage of .912.

He was a free agent after not signing anywhere in the offseason.

“Becoming an NHL goalie was a childhood dream and after an incredible 14 years within the Red Wings organization I’ve decided to say farewell to playing professional hockey and move on to the next chapter,” Howard wrote on Instagram. “It has been the honor of a lifetime to play and I’m forever thankful to the fans, everyone within the Red Wings organization, my teammates and my family for their ongoing support, loyalty and dedication. As I enter this new chapter in my life, I look forward to spending more time with my family, coaching my son’s hockey team and new opportunities the future will hold.”

Howard played three seasons at Maine from 2002-05 and led the Black Bears to the 2004 national championship game – a 1-0 loss to Denver. He holds UMaine career records for goals-against average (1.84), save percentage (.931) and shutouts (15).


He also holds the record for most saves in a game with 63 against UMass on March 20, 2004 – a 2-1, three-overtime win for the Black Bears in the Hockey East championship game. He finished that season with a 1.19 GAA, a .956 save percentage and six shutouts – all school records.

Jimmy Howard announced his retirement Thursday after playing his entire career with the Red Wings. Sarah Stier/Associated Press

After struggling during the 2019-20 season (2-23-2, 4.20 GAA, .882 save percentage), Howard said he wanted to continue playing. “This year has left a very bitter taste in my mouth,” Howard said over the summer. “I feel I can still play in this league. I want to go out and prove that.”

The Edmonton Oilers, with former Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, had some interest in Howard, but he apparently did not want to leave his home in the Detroit area.


CAPITALS 6, ISLANDERS 3: Zdeno Chara scored for the first time with his new team to cap a five-goal second period, and Washington came back from a 3-0 deficit against visiting New York.

Washington erased its deficit with four goals in 5:09. Conor Sheary scored his first two with the Capitals, Garnet Hathaway of Kennebunkport tied it, and John Carlson gave them the lead on the power play.


Then Chara’s slapper from just inside the blue line beat Semyon Varlamov, making it five unanswered goals in under 10 minutes. The 43-year-old former Boston Bruins captain was mobbed by teammates at the bench, while Islanders players looked shell-shocked by the turn of events.

New York appeared in command after first-period goals by former Yarmouth resident Oliver Wahlstrom, Casey Cizikas and Anders Lee.

CANADIENS 4, FLAMES 2: Carey Price made 23 saves, Brendan Gallagher, Shea Weber, Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli scored and unbeaten Montreal won its home opener.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jonathan Drouin each had two assists to help the Canadiens improve to 5-0-2.

HURRICANES 1, LIGHTNING 0: Martin Necas beat Andrei Vasilevskiy at 1:12 of overtime to help Carolina win at home in its return from a pause because of COVID-19 concerns.

The Hurricanes had played just three games before having to shut down workouts and postpone four games.


FLYERS 3, DEVILS 1: Carter Hart made 33 saves and fourth-line forward Michael Raffl scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period in Philadelphia’s road victory.

RANGERS 3, SABRES 2: No. 1 overall draft pick Alexis Lafreniere scored his first career goal 2:47 into overtime to give New York a win at Buffalo.

WILD 5, KINGS 3: Kirill Kaprizov scored the second goal of his rookie season to cap Minnesota’s three-goal first period in a win over visiting Los Angeles.

POSTPONED: The Vegas Golden Knights’ game against the St. Louis Blues scheduled for Thursday night was postponed.

The NHL says a Vegas player and another coach have entered COVID-19 protocol. That could mean a positive test, potential exposure or something else.

Vegas played St. Louis on Tuesday night without its entire coaching staff. General Manager Kelly McCrimmon ran the bench with the minor league coaching staff.

The NHL says the Golden Knights’ training facilities are closed until further notice. A decision on their upcoming games will be made in the next 24-48 hours. Vegas is next scheduled to face the San Jose Sharks next Tuesday and Thursday in Glendale, Arizona.

The Golden Knights are the third team to have virus problems force a postponement, following Dallas and Carolina. It’s the first postponement outside the league’s realigned Central Division.

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