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Chris Osgood hangs ’em up

Found: also known as the "silver lining" to cleaning out an old closet

Long-time Red Wing goaltender Chris Osgood has retired from the National Hockey League after seventeen seasons, 401 wins, 50 shutouts, 74 post-season wins, 15 post-season shutouts, three All-Star games, two Jennings Trophies, one goal, and three Stanley Cup victories. He leaves the game as the tenth winningest goaltender of all time. He has accepted a position within the organization, working with the team’s young goaltenders in a mentor-like role.

The announcement will be made via conference call at noon today, as General Manager Ken Holland joined the goaltender from their adopted hometown of Vernon, BC.

Originally drafted 54th overall in the third round of the 1991 Entry Draft, Chris Osgood spent much of his career as the Little Engine That Could — always facing detractors (yours truly included) despite always finding a way to win, particularly when it counts: in May and June.

He’ll be the subject of years worth of Hall of Fame talk — is he worthy of induction, was he just a bystander on a great series of Red Wings teams, are wins and titles enough to merit induction when he was never the best player at his position? This isn’t a time for those conversations — this is a time to reflect on the man we watched grow up from a fresh-faced youngster who wept after turning over a puck that led to a crushing first round loss… to a tough-as-nails jokester that has been a solid locker room influence on a new generation of pro’s pros in the Detroit locker room.

Speculation has been rampant since he last played in January, losing more than half the season following hernia surgery that proved too difficult to bounce back from. In fact, since 2009, Osgood has played in only 34 games — necessitating the use of a third goaltender to pick up the slack. Joey MacDonald — last year’s third goalie — was re-signed to a two-year deal last Monday. The Red Wings are still in the hunt for a backup netminder, with the odds-on favorite being former Winged Wheeler Ty Conklin. Other available goaltenders include Ray Emery, Marty Turco, Pascal Leclaire, and John Grahame. Ken Holland has also hinted that a goaltender has been offered in a trade, very likely Michael Leighton in Philadelphia.

Congratulations, Mr. Osgood. It’s been a wild ride, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of your labors in the future when Thomas McCollum, Petr Mrazek, Jordan Pearce, and whoever else is lucky enough to follow in your footsteps, finally take to the blue paint — the hardest position to play of any sport in Detroit.


  • 0 :: Goalies left wearing the two-piece mask.
  • 1 :: Goals scored. March 6th, 1996 in Hartford.
  • 1 :: Fights. April 1, 1998 against Patrick Roy.
  • 1 :: Trades. March 11, 2003, the Islanders traded Osgood and a 3rd Round Pick to St. Louis for Justin Papineau and a 2nd Round Pick.
  • 2 :: All-Star Games Played. 1996 and 2008. A third, 1997, he was held out of due to injury.
  • 2 :: William Jennings Trophies. 1996 with Mike Vernon and 2008 with Dominik Hasek.
  • 2.49 :: Career goals against average, 24th best of all-time just ahead of Glenn Hall and Ed Belfour.
  • 3 :: Stanley Cups. 1997, 1998, and 2008 — the latter two as the starting goaltender.
  • 10 :: Years apart between Stanley Cup victories — the most since Terry Sawchuk went twelve between 1955 and 1967.
  • 14 :: Tandemmates during tenure in Detroit: Tim Cheveldae, Ty Conklin, Bob Essensa, Dominik Hasek, Kevin Hodson, Jimmy Howard, Peter Ing, Manny Legace, Joey MacDonald, Norm Maracle, Bill Ranford, Vincent Riendeau, Mike Vernon, Ken Wregget
  • 15 :: Playoff shutouts, fourth all-time; one behind Curtis Joseph and one ahead of Belfour, Hasek, and Jacques Plante.
  • 24 :: Combined regular season and post-season assists.
  • 54 :: Overall draft position in 1991, six behind Jamie McLennan.
  • 56.3 :: Regular season winning percentage.
  • 60.2 :: Post-season winning percentage.
  • 74 :: Post-season victories, eighth all-time.
  • 137 :: Penalty Minutes.
  • 401 :: Regular season victories, tenth all-time; two behind Grant Fuhr for ninth, and six behind Glenn Hall for eighth.
  • 2035 :: Combined regular season and post-season goals against.
  • 19779 :: Shots kept out of nets.


  • Calgary Flames :: Aside from Chicago, the team that defeated Osgood the most (15 losses).
  • Carolina Hurricanes :: The team he had the best goals against average against, 1.50 in 16 meetings.
  • Chicago Blackhawks :: The team he faced most, a total of 50 regular season times.
  • Colorado Avalanche :: The team he incurred the most penalty minutes against (21).
  • Columbus Blue Jackets :: Four overtime victories against Ozzie — the most of any team.
  • Dallas Stars :: Along with the Blackhawks, the Stars were the team beaten the most times by Osgood (28).
  • Detroit Red Wings :: In ten games against the team he played for most, he only won once (1-7-2).
  • Edmonton Oilers :: Played his final game on January 4th, 2011.
  • Florida Panthers :: Only beat Chris Osgood once.
  • Nashville Predators :: The team that scored the most power play goals (23) and shorthanded goals (5) against him.
  • New York Islanders :: The team he faced the fewest number of times (nine), one less than the Red Wings.
  • Phoenix Coyotes :: Six goals scored into empty nets that were once occupied by Osgood, the most of any team.
  • Pittsburgh Penguins :: Aside from the Red Wings, this is the team that scored most often against Osgood (3.12 GAA).
  • St. Louis Blues :: Six ties, the most of any team facing Osgood.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning :: Destroyed by Chris Osgood — a lifetime record of 17-0-0.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs :: Played his first game on October 15, 1993.
  • Washington Capitals :: Osgood’s lowest save percentage against any team (.879)

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