Ward reports that the deal could be a six-year extension that would carry an annual average value of $5.3 million against the salary cap. This remains consistent with a previous report from Ansar Khan of MLive.com, who reported in March that contract talks were progressing and that the two sides were discussing a six- or seven-year deal that would carry an annual average value in the $5 million range.
Howard is currently playing in the final year of a two-year, $4.5 million contract that carries an AAV of $2.25 million per season. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Howard has posted a 16-12-4 record with a .917 save percentage, 2.41 goals against average and two shutouts in 33 appearances this season.