Howard's deal comes with a $5.1-million average annual value, but $1.1 million is based on playoff bonuses, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. If the Red Wings don't make the playoffs next season, Howard would receive no bonus and only get his $4-million salary, McKenzie adds.
The veteran goalie, who will turn 35 next week, has spent his entire career in the Motor City. He owns a .908 save percentage and a 3.05 goals-against average in 48 games this season.
The Blues sorely missed their leading goal-scorer; they won only one game in his absence while averaging just 2.2 goals per contest.
Tarasenko started the campaign slowly after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, tallying just 22 points in his first 37 outings. But the 27-year-old racked up 36 points in the 29 games that followed, helping the Blues catapult up the Western Conference standings and into a playoff spot.
Merzlikins is reportedly expected to fly to Columbus on Sunday or next Monday and then make his North American debut with the AHL's Cleveland Monsters either March 29 or 30 at Quicken Loans Arena. The Latvian has played in Switzerland's top professional league for the last six years.
Signing the 24-year-old now will burn his entry-level deal and make him a restricted free agent on July 1, Portzline adds.
Merzlikins, a third-round pick by the Blue Jackets in 2014, is widely viewed as Columbus' goalie of the future. With Sergei Bobrovsky set to become an unrestricted free agent, that future could arrive as early as next season.
The 6-foot-3 Merzlikins has posted a save percentage of .920 or better in four of his six seasons with HC Lugano in the National League. Merzlikins has also shined on the international stage, registering a 1.50 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage in six games for Latvia at the 2018 World Championship.
Every Monday, theScore offers a weekly fantasy hockey column detailing a handful of moves you should make. This week's edition focuses on the championship round of the fantasy hockey playoffs. Ownership percentages and position eligibility are courtesy of Yahoo.
Scoop up Philipp Grubauer
Team: Avalanche Position: G Ownership: 31 percent
Grubauer's made a late-season charge to emerge as the Avalanche's undisputed No. 1 goalie. Across his last six games, he's posted three shutouts and a jaw-dropping .971 save percentage. Meanwhile, fellow netminder Semyon Varlamov owns an .899 save percentage over his last six starts.
Grubauer has started three of Colorado's last four games, and with four contests on the schedule this week, he'll likely make at least three appearances. The Avalanche are fighting for their playoff lives, and will almost certainly ride the hotter goalie down the stretch.
The Capitals are the only team this week that'll partake in four games but not play on Thursday or Saturday - the busiest nights of the week.
That means you should have no problem getting Vrana - who's recorded a modest six points in his last 10 games - into your lineup four times. And if you're in a deeper league where Vrana's already been scooped up, turn to teammate Brett Connolly (4 percent owned), who has 10 points in his last 13 games.
Drop Sam Reinhart
Team: Sabres Position: C/RW Ownership: 62 percent
The Sabres have just one win in their last eight games, and they've been shut out three times during that span. The slump has unsurprisingly taken its toll on the top line - most notably Reinhart, who's posted only one point in his last eight games.
Meanwhile, Buffalo plays just twice this week, so the former second overall pick won't provide any more value in re-draft leagues this season.
Dylan Strome has endeared himself to Blackhawks fans since arriving in the Windy City, but the forgotten piece from the November trade with Arizona is beginning to emerge as a dangerous offensive threat. Perlini's scored eight goals while adding two assists across his last seven games, and he's currently rounding out a potent trio alongside Strome and Alex DeBrincat.
Chicago plays four games this week, and if you're able to squeeze Perlini into your lineup on every occasion, he needs to be added in all formats.
Discard Chris Kreider
Team: Rangers Position: LW Ownership: 67 percent
Anyone on the Rangers not named Mika Zibanejad can be dropped this week, and that includes Kreider. The veteran winger has notched a measly two points in his last 10 outings, and the Blueshirts have just two games on the docket this week.
Kaapo Kakko is carving out quite a legacy for himself in his homeland.
One of the top draft-eligible prospects in 2019, Kakko scored his 22nd goal of the season on Thursday, setting a new Liiga record for markers in a season by a player age 18 or younger.
Kakko passed some esteemed company along the way, according to Elite Prospects.
Here's a look at the record-setting tally:
Kakko, a winger, likely won't drop below No. 2 at this year's draft. He and American Jack Hughes are considered the consensus top two prospects.
Kakko registered five points in seven contests for Finland at this year's World Junior Hockey Championship, including the winning goal in the waning minutes of the gold-medal game against the United States.
Pettersson went to the dressing room after the collision, but he returned before the end of the period. He missed time with a concussion earlier in the season after Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson slammed him to the ice.
"I want to put (Markus Granlund) back in, and it’s not like I’m sitting here saying that Loui's played terrible," head coach Travis Green said before the game, according to Sportsnet's Brendan Batchelor. "But has he done enough where I can't take him out of the lineup?"
Eriksson has recorded just 10 goals and 12 assists over 69 games this season. He's been widely viewed as a disappointment after signing a six-year, $36-million contract on July 1, 2016. His $6-million cap hit is $500,000 more than Bo Horvat, the team's second-highest paid player.