Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Former Islander Chris Osgood Retires After 17 Seasons

Chris Osgood, a veteran of 744 NHL games, announced his retirement today. Osgood will remain with the Detroit Red Wings as a goaltending consultant.

He came in with that top class of Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek, Ed Belfour, Mike Richter and Martin Brodeur, to name a few, and though Osgood never became quite the household name those other guys did,  his impact was, arguably, just as profound.

The man they called "Ozzie" finished his career with 401 wins (good for 10th all-time in that category) and three (count 'em, three) Stanley Cup rings: two (1998, 2008) as the starter and one as Mike Vernon's backup (1997) on the Wings.

An exceptional playoff goalie, Osgood appeared in 129 postseason games and won 74 of them, posting a 2.09 GAA and a .916 save percentage overall. 

Whether or not he's Hall of Fame-worthy, that will be a subject of hot debate for experts and non-experts alike. The question is, do you look at the machine, or, do you add the sum of its parts. 

On a season-by-season basis, Chris Osgood's numbers, though mostly good, were not necessarily elite. But when you focus on the big picture, the amount of overall wins he has, the Cup rings and the fact that he's been named to three All-Star Games, that's quite a resume. 

Personally, I think he deserves to get in. 

Islander fans will never forget how Chris Osgood came in, much like Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner, as a gift from the waiver wire. He then proceeded to help the Isles clinch a playoff spot for the first time in eight years. 

Ozzie only played here for 1.5 seasons, but the fans sure loved his effort and compete level. This was a guy who was committed to winning games for the Islanders, and he was a large reason this team was still playing in late April of 2002. 

He'll be missed, that's for sure. 

Comments are welcome.