Chris Osgood, goaltender, #30
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.
CASE FOR OSGOOD
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.
CASE AGAINST OSGOOD
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.
WHAT HE’S SAYING
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.
WHAT DO YOU THINK
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Photo Credit: Dave Sandford, Getty Images