OT - Report: Osgood to Retire...Let the Hall of Fame Debate Begin

Submitted by hockeyguy9125 on July 19th, 2011 at 5:29 AM


Despite a freep report saying yesterday saying Chris Osgood and Ken Holland will be holding a teleconference to announce the goalie has signed another one year contract...sources are now saying he will announce his retirement at this press conference and take a developmental job with the organization.

It is expected the Wings will sign Ty Conklin as their backup for this upcoming season...

But now, to the more interesting aspect of this announcement: the Hall of Fame Debate. I am not sure that there is another HOF debate that gets more heated. On one hand you have a 400 win, three time Stanley Cup Champion, two as a starter (another all the way to game 7 where he would have won the conn smyth...but I choose not to remember that due to painful memories)...on the other hand, those who say he was never that good, but was supported by the best franchise in the past 20 years in the NHL (which I find to be a stupid argument...by that logic, Grant Fhur was not HOF worthy either since he played on arguably the most talented teams ever...). I think with over 400 wins, Osgood deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I think a less obvious question is if the Wings will ever retire his jersey...

What do you think?


Mr Mackey

July 19th, 2011 at 6:18 AM ^

The Wings will never retire his jersey. At least I don't think they should. Shanahan deserves it before Osgood, and Lidstrom before anyone when he retires. I think Lidstrom's is the only jersey they'll retire in the near future. 

As for HOF, he'll get in, but not right away. I'd give it a couple years. I think he's HOF worthy, but definitely not first ballot. 


July 19th, 2011 at 11:19 AM ^

While I agree with you that the Wings are unlikely to retire Osgood's number, I do raise an eyebrow to the notion that Shanny deserves to have his number retired more than Osgood.  Shanny spent more years playing for other teams than he did for Detroit, and his best statistical years were while in St. Louis.  Osgood was drafted by Detroit., played the majority of his career here, had his best years here, and retired here.


July 19th, 2011 at 11:33 AM ^

I also think you're right, but it's a moot point, IMO. Lidstrom will get his jersey put up (and probably the first home game after he retires, at that) and that's probably it. Him and Yzerman were the two from this era that everything else was prediacted on and it'll just be 5 and 19 from the 90's-00's.


July 19th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

Agree completely... after Lidstrom, Fedorov would probably be next in line.  But I'm fine with Yzerman/Lidstrom from this era as it is an honor that should be reserved for the elite of the elite... especially in Detroit where there is such a large pool due to being successful for so many years.


July 19th, 2011 at 12:27 PM ^

Your post also had me thinking: if Lidstrom hadn't been around (injury, early retirement, whatever) after Yzerman left, what are the odds that Detroit retires the C? It was a really cool thing that nobody wore it when Yzerman was out while he was still playing, and other than Lidstrom I can't think of anyone capable of picking up the C after 19 left.


July 19th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

Very small chance.  I could see them taking a year or two off and running with three alternates, but it really is important to a teams psyche/lockerroom to have a designated captain... and knowing firsthand the importance of having a tesam captain, I would almost guarantee Yzerman would be against recieveing that honor.


July 19th, 2011 at 2:59 PM ^

Fedorov is my second favorite player from that era but too many people around town think he's a douche for some of the stuff he pulled, especially w/r/t contracts.  A lot talent but kind of a headcase at times.  Combined with the fact that he hasn't been associated with the franchise in quite some time and the bitter feeling of some fans and probably higherups, I don't think he's getting his number retired. 

Blue in Yarmouth

July 19th, 2011 at 8:02 AM ^

You mean there is a debate about this? Not to be a jerk, but if you are debating whether he should be in the hall of fame you are clearly a homer. No way on this planet Chris Osgood will ever get in to the hall of fame. Sorry Detroit fans, but it isn't going to happen.

Blue in Yarmouth

July 19th, 2011 at 8:41 AM ^

I have to apologize to the Detroit fans here and say I stand corrected and also thanks wolverine 318 for forcing me to look deeper at the subject. I guess Osgood has just seemed to be one of those player who has flown under the radar most of his career. 

In looking up his statistic he compares quite favorably to many of the top goalies, some of whom are in the HOF. I will add that Fuhr isn't a good comparison because many don't think he should be there anyway, so he doesn't add any credence to the idea Osgood should be there if the two are comparable. 

In reality Fuhr isn't really close to Osgood. In looking at career numbers I have Osgood as being 401-216 with a 2.49 GAA, .905% save percentage and 50 shutouts. For comparison sake here is Patrick Roy who was always an undoubtable HOF'er: 551-315 2.54 .910% and 66 shutouts. Those numbers are pretty similar. Now Belfour, another HOF'er: 484-320, 2.50, .906% and 76 shutouts. Again, pretty comparable.

In short, sorry to all Detroit fans for my ignorant statement. It looking at the numbers there is definitely a chance (even a good chance) that Osgood could get in the HOF. Thanks again for insistiing I back up my statement, it was enlightening (and a little humbling as well). You learn something new everyday I guess.


July 19th, 2011 at 11:30 AM ^

I'm a wings homer, and support Osgood to the Hall... but the counter argument to equating Fuhr's numbers to Osgoods will be the eras in which they played.  Fuhr put up his numbers during the high scoring days of the 80's and played on a team that while being one of the most talented, wasn't exactly defensive-minded.  Osgood played the bulk of his career during a time period that was so low-scoring, there were yearly debates on changing rules in order to increase scoring (allowing the two-line pass, calling more holding/interference, introducing the trapezoid behind the net).  Plus, it's no secret that Detroit's success was largely due to Bowman's philosophy on two-way play (left-wing lock system.)


July 19th, 2011 at 11:58 AM ^

I think the HOF should be for the best of the best, not just the very good, with very good teams. Osgood was a very good goalie for a long time. However, was he ever considered a goalie of a generation a la Roy, Brodeur, heck even Fuhr in the 80's? He played in only 2 All-Star games 12 years apart ('96 and '08). For my money, I want my HOFers to be consistent all-stars throughout their career. 

I guess the crux of my argument is that Osgood doesn't pass the sniff test. If you follow hockey, you should be able to tell if a guy is a HOFer just from hearing his name. You shouldn't need statistics to put him there, it should be inherent in his body of work over his career. 

Now, he still may get in because I feel like there is a real lack of tenders hall worthy and I guess someone needs to get in right?


July 19th, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

Srsly. Let's not be negging down opinions that are outside that of the herd here in the blogosphere. It's not unreasonable to debate on Osgood since his case is hardly sure fire first ballot.

Some Analysis

He has 401 wins but this is a pretty team driven metric so it's hard to say what weight the voters place on that. Besides, Hasek had "only" 389 wins but we all know who the far better player was.

Osgood's .905 save percentage is average, not great and he may see some discount from HOF voters because he played with Lidstrom et al. in front of him for hs Detroit years.

Osgood was never close to being the best player on his team and never close to being the best at his position in the entirety of his career. He once finished second for a Vezina.

Osgood is certainly not the best player at his position not in the Hall of Fame? (no, I would suggest that Rogie Vachon, Andy Moog, John Vanbiesbrouck, Mike Liut, Mike Vernon, Mike Richter, Tom Barasso, Curtis Joseph, Pete Peeters, Ron Hextall and Roger Crozier are all in the debate when they bring up Osgood at an HOF committee meeting )

Osgood had a solid career but he doesn't match the best goalies of his era...Brodeur, Roy, Belfour and Hasek. Not even close.

HOF Prediction

Personally, I think he gets in after a rather lengthy wait...it's not like the hockey hall of fame is one exclusively for great players...and let's face it, while Osgood was a solid contributor he was hardly an all time great. Terry Sawchuk, Bernie Parent, Glenn Hall, Jacques Plante, Patrick Roy and Chris Osgood? One of these things is not like the other; he's no sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer...he'll wait in line and given the limits of his accomplishments versus his peers he should wait in line. The Hockey Hall of Fame voters are notoriously bitchy and unpredictible so anything is possible, however...(see Pat Burns not getting the call two freaking months before he died of cancer while an obscure 'builder' got in). 


July 19th, 2011 at 8:20 AM ^

I think he will make the HOF, maybe not on the first chance, but really the argument against doesn't hold that much water. He has accomplished much, yes he had great teams in front of him, but most of the goalies that win a lot, the same can be said of them.

I wish him the best as he takes more of a leadership role with the WIngs organization.


July 19th, 2011 at 8:25 AM ^

I would so love to get into this.

Goalies have some pretty good stats to back them up, but quality of shots faced is a big negative.

Working against him is Osgood was never thought to be an elite goaltender in his day, and was never paid like an elite goaltender. Part of that may be that Detroiters are notoriously tough on our goalies.

The HoF debate is totally based on folks looking back at his career stats and cups and being like "whoah!" His GAA in the playoffs is spectacular. But I think his save % is going to be on the meh side for his period except in certain hot bouts, mostly because he was the exact opposite of a huge butterfly goalie behind a trap,clutch, & grab defense who faced a bazillion low-percentage shots, during the reign of (e.g. Brodeur, Roy) huge butterfly goalies behind trap, clutch & grab defenses who faced bazillions of low-percentage shots.

Canada loves S…

July 19th, 2011 at 11:16 AM ^

I'm glad you chose Brodeur and Roy b/c you can't compare Osgood with Fuhr who played in an era when the average NHL game had something like 13 goals and there were ten or more 50 goal scorers per year.

So if you compare Osgood to guys like Brodeur and Roy he doesn't look so Hall of 'Famish'.  What would be really impressive would be for someone to come up with a way of measuring "low-percentage" shots compared to solid scoring chances. 


July 19th, 2011 at 10:20 PM ^

Osgood's save percentage in the playoffs is generally very impressive, actually, especially toward the end of his career (near .930 for 07-08 and 08-09).

I find it somewhat odd that you equate trap play with butterfly-style goaltending, since New Jersey was the poster child for trap play, while Brodeur was very clearly a hybrid-style goaltender.

Osgood arguably reinvented himself as a butterfly-style goaltender near the end of his career, as he'd lost a lot of his athleticism.


July 19th, 2011 at 9:22 AM ^

Do you think there have been many goalies that have absolutely carried their teams to multiple cups? Not really. I bet that every team that has won a number of cups has been pretty good. I bet that every goalie with great career stats was on a decent team, particularly if he won multiple cups.

As Blue in Yarmouth noted above, he has career statistics that are similar to the 'greatest ever' goalies who have won cups and are currently in the HHOF. To me, the only people who would question his credentials are people who hate the Wings and people who have no idea what he did for crappy StL and Isle teams he played for the few years he was not in Detroit. 

His career statistics are great and he's #10 all-time on the career win list. His playoff statistics are amazing compared to what he did in the regular season. He'll never be a role model as the perfect technique goalie, but he's perfect in his ability to put bad goals behind him. Throughout his career, he's been (mostly) a master of not getting too rattled and that by itself makes a difference. Significantly. 

To me, it's pretty straight forward, he belongs in the Hall. 


July 19th, 2011 at 10:53 AM ^

HoF for sure.  His numbers and stats are just too good to keep him out.  Sure he had a great team ahead of him but he should not be bashed for that.  I admit I rarely ever thought of him as a great goalie, but he did anchor some great teams.  In order for those teams to be great he had to be at least good.  Would he make the HoF had he been playing for Florida, no, but he didnt, he was, the goalie for the most dominant hockey team of the past 20 years.


As for putting his number in the rafters, I think that is a clear NO.  HoF does not equal your number being hung.  You have to be AMAZING to be hung.  Stevie Y was a clear case to get hung asap and I think Nick is the next.  Beyond that there really havent been players that I have been with the team long enough who contributed enough.


July 19th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

There's no debate.  10th all time in wins and a more than HOF-worthy GAA.  As for hanging his number in the rafters - you could debate that, but my take has always been that if you have to debate it, the answer is no.  I'm a huge Ozzie fan so I'd be happy to see his number rise, but I don't think it should happen.

What should happen is when they build a new arena, reserve a section of it for a Wings HOF to honor some of the big contributors, even the guys without the stats like Draper and Maltby.

But as for HHOF - absolutely.  I think a couple other guys will go in first, like Brodeur, which is fine, but Ozzie belongs.

South Bend Wolverine

July 19th, 2011 at 12:07 PM ^

Seems like the general consensus is HOF yes, retired number no, and I'd have to agree with that.  Yzerman already had his retired, and Lidstrom is a total lock to have his retired in due course, which makes 2 for the era, and that's plenty.  If you retire Ozzie (which I wouldn't mind in itself) you start opening the question on a lot of other players like Fedorov & Shanny.

The HOF, though, he clearly deserves.  The numbers speak for themselves - above all the 3 Stanley Cups.


July 19th, 2011 at 8:50 PM ^

I never liked the idea of number retirement.  Far better is the Mich #1 philosophy of earning a place in the pantheon.  As much as I love Gordie, Stevie, et al, I'd rather see 9/19, etc. out there as a motivator for the next generation.  You want to take on the challenge of wearing 9?  Fine.  Now earn it.

Another Ozzie argument, by the way: intangibles.  His teammates love him, great locker room presence, mentored Howard with grace.  I think it's worth considering for the Hall.


July 19th, 2011 at 12:26 PM ^

I grew up with those Wings' teams of the late 90's and 00's, (I'm now 24), and I was always of the opinion that Ozzy was the perennial 'weak link' in those great teams.  He gave up some absolutely soft goals that are still burned into my memory, but now that the HoF debate has come up, I think I have to put my Ozzy-detractor inclinations aside.

I think I have to put those bad goals out of mind, and look at how he responded to them.  What did he do during the '98 playoffs?  He won a Stanley Cup.  400 wins, great playoff performances, etc. 

Ozzy, I'm sorry I ever doubted you.  You have my blessing, you deserve to be in.  Hindsight's always 20/20.


July 19th, 2011 at 12:43 PM ^


If you look at this site Osgood would have to leapfrog quite a few great HOF-elegible players in order to make it in any time soon. Guys like Nieuwendyk, Andreychuk, and Gilmour will be in shortly, but I can't help but feel that Osgood could be placed among the likes of Phil Housley or 500 goal club member Pat Verbeek as a player who had great stats but lacked a HOF caliber talent(however that didn't seem to stop Dino). 


July 19th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

Because quite frankly I don't want to see any one else wear that # or jersey.


Ozzie should be in the hall.  10th in wins all time.  400+ club.


July 19th, 2011 at 6:45 PM ^

Osgood wasn't benched for games. He lost his position as his club's primary goaltender numerous times in his career.

Your argument about trades doesn't even come close to holding water. The acquisition of Roy led to two Cups for the Avs whereas the Islanders picked Osgood up off the scrap heap (after the Wings tried and failed to get something for him) and St. Louis didn't trade much to get him. He was mediocre at best in stints at each place.

Say he was an Islander or Blue his whole career and never wore a Wings uniform. Do you think anyone would be debating his HoF merits? Of course they wouldn't.


July 19th, 2011 at 8:31 PM ^

Patrick Roy would not have had a hall of fame career either on the Florida Panthers, and Grant Fhur would not have had a hall of fame career on the worst/mediocre teams of his era either...so that is another dumb arguement...

Osgood took that Islanders team farther than they would have without him. They had no business pushing Toronto anywhere near 7 games that year.

Goalies, more than any other position in the sport rely on the teams around them for success. You will never sell me that Tony Esposito would have had the same success he did with Chicago, if he was on the California Golden Seals.

Osgood lost his spot to Mike Vernon (Hall of Famer) and Dominik Hasek (Hall of Famer) over the years...I am not counting the end of his career to Jimmy Howard as he did not stay healthy. Those are two of the best to ever play, and does not seem fair to Osgood that the organization thought that they were better options. Simple fact is he won two Stanley Cups as a starter, one game from a third where he was undoubtedly the MVP of the playoffs for Detroit...400+ wins...save percentage and GAA which rival hall of famers...those things condsidered provide him criteria for him to be a Hall of Famer. I am in no way saying he is the best ever, but he is worthy of a spot in the Hall.


July 19th, 2011 at 3:00 PM ^

without thinking too hard about it, Niemi, Ward, Thomas, Hextall (though the Flyers ultimately lost the cup that year, I believe he still won playoff MVP), Roy.

I don't have specifics but just remember Osgood also single-handedly losing playoff series.  Every time I think of him I get the impression of him losing 3-1 series leads with soft goals though I admit that was from a long time ago.  Based on this, I don't think he gets HOF.  Maybe not fair but I've always though of Osgood as the worst goalie to ever win the cup and it was more a function of playing behind some HOF blueliners.

Edit - this was in response to teldar's question of goalies carrying their teams to cups...then I read his post again and realized my FAIL as he was asking about goalies carrying their teams to multiple cups...oops


July 19th, 2011 at 6:07 PM ^

My test is this:

Take the goalies all time with 400 wins. Subtract the goalies out with less than 2 stanley cups they were the starter for. If that number raises your eyebrows...he's in.


July 19th, 2011 at 6:49 PM ^

My test is this:

If a player's HoF merits has been known to inspire lively debate (especially in his own city), everyone already has their answer - he is no Hall of Famer. It is for the best of the best. I saw Osgood play for 15 years. He was not an elite goalie.



July 19th, 2011 at 8:29 PM ^

agree to disagree. 4th most playoff shutouts. 8th most playoff wins. 10th most wins ever, .002 SV% worse than Roy in the playoffs, his playoff GAA is bested (by his career peers) by only dominik hasek and martin brodeur.


I know I won't change your mind I just don't understand why anyone thinks this is even an issue. Are people still bitter about San Jose circa 1994? Get over it. He absolutely dominated in 2008 and was the best player in the playoffs not named Henrik Zetterberg.

I can't wait till he gets in and I can laugh at all the doubters.


July 19th, 2011 at 9:59 PM ^

The question is not about what you think should be the criteria to get into the Hall of Fame -- it's about whether or not you believe Osgood will get in based on the criteria upon which other goaltenders have gotten in.  Are Tom Barasso, Ed Belfour, and Grant Fuhr markedly better goaltenders than Osgood?  Absolutely not.  Ozzie at least deserves consideration, especially given his playoff performances and how his playoff play improved more and more near the end of his career.


July 19th, 2011 at 9:44 PM ^

I sort of hate this debate, because I think it should be a no-brainer that Ozzie is a HOFer.  The most glaring issue is that he certainly is not the premier goalie of his generation, but he has been incredibly steady if nothing else, and his play drastically tightened up in the playoffs consistently, especially towards the end of his career.  Ozzie deserved the Conn Smythe over Hank in '07-'08 IMO -- he brought them back from an 0-2 deficit, and look at the numbers!  Had the Wings won the Cup the following year, one could make an argument he deserved it that year, as well.  When did Osgood ever have a markedly bad year in the playoffs?  Even Brodeur and Hasek began to implode in their late years. 

Did he ever "steal" a game?  Not a fair question of goaltender backstopping some of the most fundamentally-sound two-way teams to ever play the game.  You can't punish Osgood for not going cold during long shooting droughts on the part of the other team.

Do I think he'll get in?  Maybe, but only after a lengthy wait, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't get in at all.  I think he should be in.


July 19th, 2011 at 10:08 PM ^

As I posted earlier, I think Osgood eventually gets in but I agree it won't be for a while. Your point that he wasn't the premier goalie of his generation is telling; steadiness might eventually be rewarded by the Hall voters but not soon. I think Dino Ciccarelli's long wait is instructive given his place statistically among the 'greats' of the game. Osgood will most likely find himself in the same scenario as his stats place him statistically among the greats but his performance (and real lack of accolades and awards) doesn't place him in the pantheon of Sawchuk, Hasek, Brodeur, Hall et al.