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ALL-ROOKIE HAT TRICK FOR HOWARD

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Former Grand Rapids Griffins and current Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard on Wednesday was named to the 2010 NHL All-Rookie Team.

A master of first impressions, Howard earned his third all-rookie nod in the last eight years. He was previously selected to the 2006 AHL All-Rookie Team with Grand Rapids, as well as the 2003 Hockey East All-Rookie Team with Maine.

A runner-up for the NHL's Calder Memorial Trophy as outstanding rookie, he ranked among the NHL’s leaders this season with a 0.924 save percentage (T4th), a 2.26 goals against average (5th) and 37 wins (37-15-10, T8th) while authoring three shutouts during his first full season in Hockeytown. Seizing the starter’s job early in the season, he stabilized Detroit during its injury-plagued campaign and helped the Red Wings earn the Western Conference’s fifth seed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, keeping alive their 19-year streak of postseason appearances.

The 26-year-old Howard played in 63 games and made 61 starts, including a run of 25 consecutive starts that was the longest by a Red Wings goalie since 1991-92 (Tim Cheveldae). He became just the fourth goaltender in Detroit history to win 30 or more games in his rookie season, joining Roger Crozier and Hall of Famers Terry Sawchuk and Glenn Hall.

Howard, who spent the previous four seasons (2005-09) honing his craft in Grand Rapids, stands as the Griffins’ all time goaltending leader with 186 games played, 10659:17 minutes played, 90 wins, 4,849 saves and 16 shootout wins, while ranking among the team’s best with 14 shutouts (2nd), a 0.911 save percentage (T8th) and a 2.67 GAA (10th).

During his Griffins career, he was also selected to play in the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic, and was twice chosen as both the league’s Goaltender of the Month (Dec. 2007, March 2006) and Player of the Week (Jan. 25, 2009, March 20, 2006).

In addition, Howard earned consecutive nods as the Griffins’ AHL Man of the Year nominee, in large part due to his “Howard’s Heroes” program that he maintained last season despite his advancement to Detroit. During each of the last four Griffins seasons, he has provided fun and therapeutic nights out for hospitalized children and their families by purchasing four season tickets and donating them to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, affording children and their families the opportunity to watch the Griffins play and visit the locker room afterwards.

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