Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Red Wings Goalie Osgood Retires

Detroit Free Press:

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood has topped 400 NHL victories, and has three Stanley Cups to his name, two of them as the starting goaltender.
He announced today that he won’t be adding to those numbers, as he’s decided to retire after 16 seasons in the NHL, 13 of them with the Wings, the team that selected him 54th overall in the 1991 draft. 
“It’s taken me a long time to think about this, since two weeks after the season ended,” Osgood said. “There were a number of issues, one being the injury I had. Knowing that I can still play made this difficult.
“I wrestled with it every day, but I’ve decided to retire.”
Osgood underwent sports hernia surgery in January, and didn’t play again the rest of the season.
The Wings now have to find an alternative for the no. 2 job behind starter Jimmy Howard. Joey MacDonald was signed earlier this month, but that was to a two-way deal as the Wings see MacDonald as the no. 3 guy. At best, he’s insurance.
The Wings made a play for Tomas Vokoun as soon as free agency began July 1, but he opted instead to sign for $1.5 million with Washington – not great money, but he’ll get a chance be the starter, something he wouldn’t have in Detroit. At this point, the only guys left on the market are Ty Conklin, Ray Emery and Marty Turco.
The Wings may well end up getting a guy via a trade, as they’ve got an excess both of forwards and defensemen.
That’s what is up next for the Wings.
Next up for Osgood: A job helping with the development of the team’s young goaltenders.
Next up in the hockey world: Debating whether Osgood, 38, is going to get into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
He likely is, albeit not as a first-ballot guy. Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is a no-brainer first-ballot vote; he’ll be in as soon as the minimum three years of retirement have passed.
Osgood is likelier to be voted after several years of retirement. The fact that he’s just the 10th guy in NHL history to reach 400 victories is a pretty strong argument for why he belongs (consider, for example, Dino Cicarrelli, who got in on the strength of having scored 608 goals. He retired in ’99, was selected for membership in 2010).
In 744 career NHL games with the Wings, Islanders and Blues, Osgood had 401 victories and 50 shutouts. He ranks eighth all-time with 74 playoff victories and fourth with 15 shutouts. He led the Wings to the Stanley Cup in ’98 and ’08. He was the back-up for the ’97 championship, and led the Wings all the way to Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals.

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