The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association confirmed today what we've all known since Decemeber: Jimmy Howard is the Red Wings rookie of the year.
Howard took over the starting goaltender role in mid-November after veteran Chris Osgood couldn't get his game back on track. Howard started 61 games, going 37-15-10 en route to a nomination for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. Jimmy released a statement today about his win, and it has that beautiful statement-y feel to it:
"It’s a tremendous honor," Howard said in a statement. "I’m very happy to be a part of the Red Wings organization. My coaches and teammates — in particular, Jim Bedard and Chris
Osgood— really helped me along through my first full season in the National Hockey League. I’m already looking forward to 2010-11."
Jimmy was able to put the team on his back for a long time while the Red Wings struggled with injury issues. Detroit struggled to score goals when key players like Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen were sidelined with long-term injuries, and Howard played a vital role in keeping them afloat in the dangerous Western Conference. He certainly is the Red Wings ROY, if not the league's ROY.
Howard joins teammates Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen, Jiri Hudler, Jonathan Ericsson, and Derek Meech (yes, THAT Derek Meech) as previous winners of the DSBA award, which started in 1949.