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Pro/No :: Chris Osgood

Chris Osgood, goaltender, #30
38-years-old (11/26/72)
5’10” :: 175 lbs
17 NHL seasons (14 with Detroit)
From Peace River, Alberta

Regular Season — 11 games played, 5-3-2 record, 2.77 GAA, .903 sv%
Playoffs — Did Not Play

Chris Osgood was drafted by the Red Wings in 1991, in the third round. In the years that followed, he’s gotten into 744 regular season games and 129 post-season games, and — as one of the “good old boys,” — has been on several Cup-winning teams. Following a strong 2007-08 season, Osgood was signed to a three-year, $4.25M deal (with actual salaries declining each season). He carried with him a cap hit of $1,416,667.

As of July 1st, he will be an unrestricted free agent.

Ozzie has fallen on tough luck in the injury department most recently — but prior to that, he had lost his starting job to Jimmy Howard.

In 2007-08, Dominik Hasek was the Red Wings starter, but after a poor showing in the first two games of the playoffs, Chris Osgood stepped in and helped carry the Red Wings to their fourth Cup win in 12 years.

The following year, Osgood was named the starter — with newly acquired Ty Conklin signed to back him up — and struggled mightily all season. Conklin outplayed Osgood, but joined the St. Louis Blues in the off-season, opening up a roster spot for starter-in-waiting Jimmy Howard.

Howard has played very well in his short career, relegating Chris Osgood to a backup role. Osgood wasn’t too fond of that idea in 2009-10, but embraced his role as a mentor in 2010-11. He was playing pretty well, when his season ended thanks to a groin tear, followed by hernia surgery, in January. Following several attempts to get back on the ice and return to his backup role, Mike Babcock decide that Joey MacDonald was the more reliable backup for the post-season.

1) You don’t get 400 wins and three Stanley Cups by accident.
2) Assuming he’s healthy, you may not be able to find a better backup for the money (which is sure to decrease).
3) He’s a hell of a guy in the locker room and everyone loves him.

1) It’s been several years since he was consistently reliable for long stretches of time.
2) They may have been reasonable, but his attitude toward Mike Babcock — and his handcuffing of the Red Wings roster — are problematic.
3) By goaltending standards, he’s not terribly old, but he’s had a tough time with injuries lately. Made-of-glass laughing stock of the league Rick DiPietro played in twice as many games as Chris Osgood this past season.

It’s clear to anyone that pays attention that Chris Osgood wants to continue playing. The fire for the game is there, but he admits that there’s more to it than just “desire.” Clearly, the injuries and his rehabilitation, along with the prospect of spending more time with his young family, are going to influence his decision to seek an extension with the Red Wings. At locker clean-out, Osgood told Ted Kulfan that he “still wants to play — but it goes beyond that.” He is supposed to inform Ken Holland of his intentions in the coming weeks.

If Osgood should continue to play, he’ll likely need to take a pay cut from his $1.4M cap hit (and $1.1M actual salary from this season). Like we mentioned above, finding a reliable backup goaltender for under $1M in this League is tricky — and if he can drop into the lineup in the $800k range, Ken Holland might be inclined to give him another shot.

Internal :: Joey MacDonald played very well stepping into the backup role, but he’s not signed for next season, either.
External :: Backup goaltenders that are slated to be on the market as of July 1st include Jose Theodore, Brian Boucher, Johan Hedberg, Mike Smith, and — ironically — Ty Conklin.


Photo Credit: Dave Sandford, Getty Images

9 thoughts on “Pro/No :: Chris Osgood”

  1. Time to move on.  I just don’t trust that Osgood can give us 20-25 games this season and I don’t want Howard playing 70.

  2. I’m just going to copy/paste from WiiM

    “This is difficult for me to say, I love Ozzy. His rookie card
    is one of my most prized possessions. But… it’s time we move on. It’s
    like Maltby last year. He just was not good enough anymore to cut it at
    the top level. Ozzy is coming off of two pretty bad injuries in
    addition to his normal inconsistencies. While I think his playoff
    experience and talents is always appreciated… Jimmy pretty much did this
    year exactly what Ozzy did in 08, albeit with a different result.Really, I say we give Ty Conklin a call and see if he is willing to
    play for us for 2 years at a $1 million cap hit. His demand is low (St.
    Louis exposed him on Waivers two or three times at the deadline, the
    Islanders took Nabakov instead. Damn them) and he is still a damn good
    backup. For $1 million, I think he is definitely worth it.
    If Conklin says no, stick with Joey Mac for another season. He’s a
    serviceable backup, although his play toward the end of the season may
    have pushed him onto team radars as a decent backup. I could see him
    landing in Tampa, actually. If we can keep him for another year, at
    that point Larsson and/or McCollum should be ready to take over the
    backup role.”

  3. 2) They may have been reasonable, but his attitude toward Mike Babcock —
    and his handcuffing of the Red Wings roster — are problematic.

    I don’t know the history here.  Ozzy has issues with Babcock?

  4. Pingback: From Abdelkader to Zuccarello – 27 May 2011 | The Hockey Writers

  5. bye bye………he’s washed up………in his career he’s been an average goalie at best………shoulda kept Conklin and dumped him 

    1. Youre a geek MIqaelee, Osgood has 400 wins in the NHL.  I bet you havent even watched 400 games you plug.  Thanks for all the cups Chris, and you were so close on another one in 09 you should have won the Conn Smyth.  So average, my nuts.

  6. Hate to say it, but it is time for Ozzie to hang them up.  Sure, he can go to another team, but… why have to deal with a set of doctors in another city?  As for the family issue, not going to mince words – if the family is young enough where the kids are just getting into preschool, then it is moving time.  If the kids are in elementry/middle school… time to take a job as a ‘celebrity sales rep’ for someone in the Tri-County area – much like Ted Lindsay and many other Red Wings Alumni for the last 50+ years.

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