Now that Chris Osgood has retired, the debate on if he is a Hall of Fame goaltender has truly heated up. Twitter, Facebook and any sports website you can thinking have been a buzz about Ozzie’s potential to becoming a member of the Hall of Fame, and the vote seems to be split right down the middle. The detractors say that Ozzie played on some great teams and was never in the running for a Vezina trophy or looked at the fact that he was only a 2-time all-star in his 17 year career. Ozzie-backers look at the stats, over 400 wins making him 10th all time on the career list, along with three Stanley Cup championships.
Personally, I think that Ozzie deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and if the detractors don’t want to compare his stats when he was on the great teams in Detroit I offer his two stints with the New York Islanders and the St. Louis Blues. In his first season with the Islanders in 2001, Ozzie posted 32 wins, a 2.50 goals against average and a save percentage of .910 and leading the Islanders to the playoffs for the first time in nine years. He struggled the next season between Long Island and the St. Louis Blues, but in 2003 he had another 31 wins for the Blues to go along with a 2.24 goals against and a .910 save percentage on the way to another playoff birth.
Osgood ends his career with 401 wins, with 50 shutouts, that ranks him 10th all-time, with a goals against average of 2.49 and a career save percentage of .904. But the biggest stats of Osgood’s career came when the lights shined the brightest, in the playoffs. Along with his 75 playoff wins, and 15 shutouts, Osgood had a goals against average of 2.09 and a save percentage of .916. Ozzie may not have a lot of trophies, outside of championship rings, but he always seemed to make the big saves whenever the Wings truly needed them. His ability to bounce back from the soft goalies and gaffs he made in his career defined him as a gamer and the type of guy that the fans loved to cheer for, and Osgood always loved them back.
To replace Osgood, the Wings have agreed to a one-year deal with former back up Ty Conklin for less than one million dollars. Conklin will be the primary backup to Jimmy Howard this season, with Joey MacDonald likely to stay in Grand Rapids in case of emergency.