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Looking at the Facts: Is “Ozzy” a Hall of Famer?

This is a question that is going to be asked by both the hockey media and hockey fans for the next four years so you better get used to it.

With that said, it is a question that is definitely worth pondering because when looking at Osgood’s numbers as a goaltender, they are pretty darn impressive both in the regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Regular Season

- 401 wins
- 50 shutouts
- 2.49 goals against average
- .905 save percentage

Stanley Cup Playoffs

- 3 Stanley Cups; two as a starter (1998, 2008) and one as a backup (1997)
- 74 wins
- 2.09 goals against average
- .915 save percentage
- 15 shutouts

Based purely on the statistics, I believe that Osgood could get into hockey’s hallowed hall. Sure, he played on one of the league’s best franchises but he was much more than just a follower on an outstanding hockey club.

Osgood was someone who could make a big save when needed to. Just look at his performances in both the 1998 and 2008 playoffs. He was there for his team time and time again and could have arguably won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league’s best player in the postseason after winning the Cup over the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008. “Ozzy” was that good.

Osgood was also someone who could bounce back from a bad goal or game only to turn it around. There were a few games in the 1998 playoffs where he allowed terrible goals but he would respond in the next game with a terrific performance to lead his club to victory.

“Ozzy” is someone who dedicated his life to hockey and the teams he played for. He was wel liked by his teammates and was someone who didn’t appear to complain about his role whether it was as a starter or as a backup. He simply went out and played.

I know that there are plenty of naysayers out there but when all is said and done, I believe that Osgood will get inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

I know that many of you will probably disagree with me but I just figured I would put my opinion out there.

What do you folks think?

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood, detroit+red+wings

Comments

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Osgood’s performance in the 2008 playoffs cemented his status as a HoF goalie in my mind. That was unreal to watch and his career stats totally back it up.

Posted by Iggy Rules on 07/22/11 at 10:56 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Grant Fuhr.

End of story.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 07/22/11 at 11:44 AM ET

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Is there a “riding coat tails” Catagory?  If yes then maybe he should be in.  Otherwise, NO WAY

Posted by spike from USA on 07/22/11 at 11:59 AM ET

Steve Strowbridge's avatar

I don’t understand the people who don’t want to see Osgood make it into the HOF. Haters gonna hate.

Posted by Steve Strowbridge from St. John's, NL, CA on 07/22/11 at 12:10 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

No. Rule of thumb: If you have to debate it, it’s a no.

Posted by cs6687 on 07/22/11 at 12:14 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

No. Rule of thumb: If you have to debate it, it’s a no.

Posted by cs6687 on 07/22/11 at 10:14 AM ET

I consider that a rule of thumb for jersey retirements, not for HHoF inductions.

Still, I can actually appreciate that line of reasoning.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/22/11 at 12:17 PM ET

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Hahaha…  No one has to debate anything, if not for a bunch of nay sayers that keep trolling every post about it

Its pretty simple, if you dont believe Ozzie deservers to be on HHoF, you either have something against him (or the Wings), or you simply have no idea what means to be 10th all time in wins, and more impressively, 8th ALL TIME in PLAYOFF WINS.

And I won’t eve bother to mention his rings…  lol

In the end, its really easy to counter-argue the 2 most used arguments against him:

1) He played behind an over-talented blue line
If playing behind an awesome team is a no-no for HHoF, you would have to take out almost every single goaltender from it. And yes, that includes almost every goalie already in there

2) He never won a MVP or Vezina trophy
Again, I didnt know that was a new rule to get into HHoF
Did Grant Fuhr ever won any of them, either?  I dont know the numbers exactly, but I can bet there’s at least a couple goalies in there that dont have any of those trophies either.

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/22/11 at 12:25 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

I’m not going to say either way, because I think a strong argument can be made for both sides.  However, I just wanted to say that the whole “well Grant Fuhr made it” argument is flawed.  Just because he doesn’t deserve to be in, doesn’t necessarily mean that he should be the standard at which other inductees are judges.  Two wrongs don’t make a right….right?

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 07/22/11 at 12:43 PM ET

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Itrusteddrrahmani, I can agree with you on that…
But if its not a good reason, then what is?
Public wisdom?  I would think thats a far worse thing to use…  hahaha
Statistics?  It’s been proven that it doesnt weight that much on the vote, and again, Ozzie’s stats are better then half the goalies in there. (not that I think this means much, just a fact)

The point is, theres no metrics to get into it… Its a secret vote from a very small group of people, sadly

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/22/11 at 12:51 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

In my mind Ozzie shouldn’t be anywhere near the HOF.
Not once in his career did he single-handedly drag a team into the playoffs or lead a team to the Cup.
He was interchangable.

I look at it like this.
In his prime, if you had to win a one-game-takes-all matchup, would you take Ozzie over most, or all of the other goalies in his era?
Not even close.

Roy, Broduer, Belfour, to name a few were light-years better than Ozzie.
He wasn’t even in the top 5 or perhaps even top 10 of goalies in his hayday.

I like Ozzie and I think he was a very good goalie for the Wings.
But he wasn’t remotely close to being one of the best and when you talk about the best goalies of the past 15 years, Ozzie won’t come to anyone’s mind.

If Ozzie makes it, perhaps we should request Rob Brown make it to for the great couple of seasons he had while on Mario’s wing.

Posted by Hank1974 on 07/22/11 at 01:02 PM ET

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Interesting…  I would take Ozzie over Broudeur or Belfour…
But maybe the “He played under a top rated blue line” thing works only for Ozzie, and not for the other goalies, right?

Ah, well, as was said before, haters gonna hate

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/22/11 at 01:12 PM ET

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Posted by Hank1974 on 07/22/11 at 11:02 AM ET

I can sympathize with the “he should have been dominant” argument as what the Hall standard should be, but that’s not what the standard is.

Gillies was never dominant. Nor were Federko, Anderson, Ciccarelli. Even if you look at some goalies who are already there, I wouldn’t say guys like Johnny Bower or Harry Lumley or even Ed Belfour are out of Osgood’s league.

If you have a problem with Osgood being a Hall of Famer—and that’s fine; I respect that “small Hall perspective—you really have a problem with the Hall of Fame selection committee. Because they set the standards, and it’s pretty clear to me that a guy like Chris Osgood meets them.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/22/11 at 01:29 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Interesting…  I would take Ozzie over Broudeur or Belfour…
But maybe the “He played under a top rated blue line” thing works only for Ozzie, and not for the other goalies, right?

Ah, well, as was said before, haters gonna hate

If Holland was offered Brodeur or Belfour for Ozzie straight up, he would have taken it before the offer was out of the other GM’s mouths.

If you ran that poll on a national scale, I bet the % would be 98% outside of Michigan.
Only those with Wings-tinted sunglasses believe Ozzie was better than those two.
Especially with Broduer.  That would be like saying “I’d take Cleary over Ovechkin”.
It’s not even close.

Posted by Hank1974 on 07/22/11 at 01:37 PM ET

perfection's avatar

agreed. i don’t even think it’s debatable. the standard has long been set and Ozzie’s stats speak for themselves. 10th all time wins and 8th all time playoff wins. done. doesn’t matter what team, doesn’t matter who played in front of him, doesn’t matter what era, doesn’t matter what other goalies were in the league at the time. none of it matters. he is one of the most winning goalies in the history of the game and will be recognized as such. end of story.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/22/11 at 01:41 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Of course I think Ozzie should go, but its a tough call.  I’m not so sure about every one throwing Grant Fuhr out as the reason Ozzie shouldn’t get in.  Ozzie had 401 wins in 744 games.  Glenn Hall, who is in the HOF, had 407 wins in 906 games.  I’m just not sure Fuhr is all that great of an example… not to mention that I think Fuhr will make it in eventually.

I think in the end what kills Ozzie chances is his save percentage, he isn’t even in the top 25 all time, which pretty much validates the “he had a strong team in front of him” argument.  Sure Patrick Roy had the same luxury, but his career SV% was .9102,  Ozzie’s is .905 (and Ozzie doesn’t even approach him in the wins category).  Thats why my realistic side says its probably not going to happen.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/22/11 at 01:42 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Grant Fuhr IS in the hall of fame… I think most comments are using that as justification for why Ozzie SHOULD get it

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/22/11 at 01:51 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Grant Fuhr IS in the hall of fame… I think most comments are using that as justification for why Ozzie SHOULD get it

Posted by perfection from Chicago on 07/22/11 at 11:51 AM ET

Well there you go.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/22/11 at 01:57 PM ET

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Grant Fuhr is already in.

And if you’re going to make the “average goalie playing for a great team” argument against Ozzie, you HAVE to make it, tenfold, against Fuhr.

All of Grant Fuhr’s HHOF-quality years were with better teams than Osgood ever played with (and had easier paths to the Finals, considering 16 of only 21 teams made the playoffs each year). And except for the Blues, Fuhr was mediocre to terrible with every other team he played with. After losing his job in Edmonton to Ranford, he lost his job in Toronto to Potvin, then lost his job in Buffalo to Hasek, then sucked in Los Angeles. And after he had run his course in St. Louis, he was traded for peanuts and backed up Fred Freaking Brathwaite in Calgary.

Osgood was actually GOOD with the Islanders and Blues, which a lot of people still don’t seem to understand.

If you don’t think either guy deserves to be in, that’s fine. But I have a bone to pick with anyone who thinks Fuhr is a Hall of Famer but Osgood isn’t.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/22/11 at 01:57 PM ET

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Sorry for excessive use of the “general you.” I reread the post and it sounds like I’m in attack mode, which is untrue.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/22/11 at 01:58 PM ET

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If Holland was offered Brodeur or Belfour for Ozzie straight up, he would have taken it before the offer was out of the other GM’s mouths.

If you ran that poll on a national scale, I bet the % would be 98% outside of Michigan.
Only those with Wings-tinted sunglasses believe Ozzie was better than those two.
Especially with Broduer.  That would be like saying “I’d take Cleary over Ovechkin”.
It’s not even close.

Posted by Hank1974 on 07/22/11 at 11:37 AM ET

I agree on you that Holland would trade Ozzie for Brdeur..  Not so much for Belfour
And I also agree with you about the polls…  Would pretty much show what you said

Still, I myself, disagree with both!
I wouldnt trade Ozzie for neither of those, and I think public polls are just for fun, since so many crap can change public notion, like poor blogs, and plain bad journalism.

As someone already said, I was using Fuhr as an example why Ozzie should get into it, no against. He already is on HHoF

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/22/11 at 02:44 PM ET

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The only thing the 08 finals cemented for me was that Babcock was a genius in how thoroughly he had his guys stuffing Therien’s breakouts and zone entrances. That Osgood could get in the way of sporadic rushed shots from the wall while his defense recovers every rebound doesn’t impress me.

I was elated the next year when he was announced as the starter in game 7 and, as it turns out, with good reason. Conklin wasn’t Brodeur in his prime, but he also never squared up 5 feet from where he was supposed to be on an unscreened shot.

I’ve said this before, but Osgood has been demonstrably outperformed by the other goalie on one of his teams in >50% of the seasons in his career. Osgood also lost his job to outright bums (Snow, Legace) during what should have been his best years.

If Osgood’s career tells me anything, it’s that an average goalie who struggles with shots from center ice (like he and Cloutier) can have a long, successful career if he’ll play cheap for a contender who doesn’t like giving money to goaltenders. That might be worth a nod for the Hall of Business Acumen, but it certainly isn’t worth the Hall of Fame, since he would be, in my mind, the worst player in it.

Posted by steviesteve on 07/22/11 at 03:01 PM ET

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Osgood was actually GOOD with the Islanders and Blues, which a lot of people still don’t seem to understand.

Osgood was not good with the Islanders. He used to get torched, regularly, and lost his job to Garth Snow, who was a bum.

Posted by steviesteve on 07/22/11 at 03:04 PM ET

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it seems like most of the arguments against are arbitrary and subjective. “He just doesn’t feel like a hall of famer”  “people just weren’t afraid of Ozzie like they were Roy or Brodeur or Hasek”  “His team was so much better then every other team”

Unless someone has watched every game and every shot faced by every goaltender in, or potentially eligible for the Hall i don’t think those arguments should hold any weight.  All of the Goalies in the Hall played for dominant teams, and all played with other HOFers.

I don’t know how you can realistically compare players other than the objective facts.
When compared to the most recent Goalie inductees Ozzie compares quite well. 
Belfour had .906 SV% 2.50 GA
Roy had .910 SV% and 2.54 GA
Ozzie .905 SV% and 2.49 GA
(When your talking about 24K, 28K, and 18K shots respectively, those numbers are almost identicle)

They both won more games then Ozzie, but, only because they played more.  Ozzie won a higher percentage of his games then either of them.  Only Brodeur and Ken Dryden won a higher percentage of games played. 

Ozzie’s GA and SV in the playoffs was better then either Roy and Belfour.  Again, they played more games, Ozzie had a better Win% then Belfour, but lower than Roy.  Ozzie also had a higher Shutout/Game Played ratio than either in the playoffs

You dont have to believe in him, but objectively, he had a hall of fame career.

Posted by jwad on 07/22/11 at 03:49 PM ET

perfection's avatar

...since he would be, in my mind, the worst player in it.

even if this is true it means nothing… i mean, SOMEBODY has to be the worst player in the hall.

again, once you throw out your biased, anecdotal and emotionally driven analysis (like the “half ice” goal nonsense), along with completely irrelevant stats that are manufactured simply to prove your predetermined outcome (like whatever your 50% of his career stat is getting at), you are left with one of the most winning goalies in the history of the game. the rest is moot.

it’s like if I pointed out that last year’s Hall inductee Dino Ciccarelli only led his team in goals 40% of the seasons in his career and for that reason he shouldn’t be in. it’s a completely (true) cherry picked stat that really means nothing. it’s all relative. the W column is not relative. it’s fact. 10th all time makes him definitively one of the best/most effective/winningest/most successful (choose your synonym) goalies in the history of the game. because of this fact, by the standards the HOF has used for years, he qualifies.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/22/11 at 03:54 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Osgood was not good with the Islanders.

Here are facts:  2001-02 season, games 65, wins 32, losses 25, GAA 2.50, SV% .910

Yeah, you’re right ... he stunk with the Islanders. rolleyes

Posted by calquake on 07/22/11 at 04:18 PM ET

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Belfour had .906 SV% 2.50 GA
Roy had .910 SV% and 2.54 GA
Ozzie .905 SV% and 2.49 GA
You dont have to believe in him, but objectively, he had a hall of fame career.

Objectively, huh? How misleading.

Roy’s numbers include the high-scoring 80s and early 90s. Belfour’s include the early 90s. Osgood’s are mostly from the clutch’n'grab NHL.

Let’s adjust the three players’ numbers for the league-wide offense for their career overlap—93-94 to 02-03 for a more fair comparison.

Roy
.916 SA%
2.36 GAA
1420 goals
16974 ShA
600.2 games
36010 min

Belfour
.909 SA%
2.37 GAA

1331 goals
14633 sha
562.6 games
33756 min

Osgood
.906 SA%
2.47 GAA

12658 ShA
479.1 games
28743 min

So, yeah. Osgood’s numbers are much worse than Roy’s and merely obviously worse than Belfour’s. Note also that this comparison includes all of Osgood’s prime with Belfour and Roy’s twilight years and Osgood still doesn’t touch them. If adjusted by their respective primes Osgood’s case gets even worse.

Should have picked Fuhr, if you wanted to make a statistical case for Osgood, as his is the only comparable to Osgood in the hall that exists at that position.

Like I said, Osgood’s got a case for induction to the Hall of Business. Hall of Fame, not so much.

Posted by steviesteve on 07/22/11 at 04:34 PM ET

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Here are facts:  2001-02 season, games 65, wins 32, losses 25, GAA 2.50, SV% .910

Yeah, you’re right ... he stunk with the Islanders. rolleyes

Posted by calquake on 07/22/11 at 02:18 PM ET

Here are the facts
http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NYI/2003.html

Osgood was so wretched for the Isles he was supplanted by Garth Snow and traded to St Louis for nothing.

Posted by steviesteve on 07/22/11 at 04:40 PM ET

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Stevie, lets, for the sake of argument, then, focus on NHL playoffs, where cuth and grab wont matter, since all 3 goalies played mostly on the same period (all 3 goalies only played until the 04 playoffs, with osgood beeing the exception, but he only have 08 and 09 after the 04 playoff):

Roy:
Win %: 61.13%
Save %: 0.918
GAA: 2.3

Belfour:
Win %: 54.65
Save %: 0.920
GAA: 2.17

Ozzie:
Win %: 57.36
Save %: 0.916
GAA: 2.09

Data is pretty even on all 3, here…  Does that mean its PROOF he belongs on HHoF???
If we follow your logic, it is…  What say you, now??

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/22/11 at 04:59 PM ET

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Stevie, lets, for the sake of argument, then, focus on NHL playoffs, where cuth and grab wont matter, since all 3 goalies played mostly on the same period (all 3 goalies only played until the 04 playoffs, with osgood beeing the exception, but he only have 08 and 09 after the 04 playoff):

That Osgood dressed for playoff games in the 80s and early 90s, or that playoff scoring didn’t drop after these eras is news to me.

Posted by steviesteve on 07/22/11 at 05:17 PM ET

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I wouldnt say that being dumped for Garth Snow is exactly accurate either.
From the Newsday archive:

“The deal involving [Chris Osgood] was admittedly a salary dump by the Islanders, but also an indication that they are ready to hand the goaltending reins over to rookie Rick DiPietro. Osgood, who made $4 million this season, will be a restricted free agent this summer. He turned down a three-year contract extension offer last summer, which essentially sealed his fate.

[Mike Milbury] called the 30-year-old Osgood “a class act” and praised him for how “he came here and helped us revive the franchise,” after the Islanders acquired him from Detroit in the September 2001 preseason waiver draft. Coach Peter Laviolette said Osgood gave the Islanders “instant credibility and instant believability” in the team’s successful quest last season to end a seven-year playoff drought.”

I am still convinced that Osgoods career regular season and playoff win totals regardless of marginal differences in save % or GA still qualify him as a HOF Goalie.
Lots of people have argued that he only won that many games because he stayed in the league a long time.  The data just doesnt back that up.  3rd highest Win% of the top 50 all time winning-est goalies. 

Top 10 all time, in the most important metric for your position = HOF

Posted by jwad on 07/22/11 at 05:36 PM ET

perfection's avatar

_ Top 10 all time, in the most important metric for your position = HOF_

exxxxxxxactly. it’s why I frankly don’t even see this as debatable.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/22/11 at 05:47 PM ET

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Stevie, you are either trolling or ignorant on statistics…

The fact that there’s less goals per game on any given era, means SQUAT about save percentage… Save percentage is already relative to the number of shots taken, and goals scored, so it doesnt matter how many goals where scored over any period whatsoever.

And in GAA you can clearly see Osgood has the advantage over both of them, so I dont really understand whats the point in saying that on Osgood’s era, there were less goals per game, since its totally irrelevant for any statistic I mentioned…

I guess you just like to write incoherent crap all over the place?

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/22/11 at 05:52 PM ET

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exxxxxxxactly. it’s why I frankly don’t even see this as debatable.

Posted by perfection from Chicago on 07/22/11 at 03:47 PM ET

Yep!
And dont forget about 8th all time in playoffs, which is even more appealing to me.

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/22/11 at 05:56 PM ET

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Stevie, you are either trolling or ignorant on statistics…

The fact that there’s less goals per game on any given era, means SQUAT about save percentage… Save percentage is already relative to the number of shots taken, and goals scored, so it doesnt matter how many goals where scored over any period whatsoever.

Blatant lie.
http://www.hockey-reference.com/leaders/save_pct_yearly.html


And in GAA you can clearly see Osgood has the advantage over both of them

Not over Osgood’s career he didn’t. He wasn’t close, really.


, so I dont really understand whats the point in saying that on Osgood’s era, there were less goals per game, since its totally irrelevant for any statistic I mentioned…

Less leaguewide goals per game is irrelevant to GAA? Ur smart.


I guess you just like to write incoherent crap all over the place?

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/22/11 at 03:52 PM ET

Just because you can’t understand it doesn’t make it incoherent.

Posted by steviesteve on 07/22/11 at 06:08 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Here are the facts
http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NYI/2003.html


So… I picked his best season, you picked his worst season, for the Islanders.  Let’s put them both together: Wins 49, Losses 39, GAA 2.71, SV% .902 Not HOF worthy… but not wretched as you claim.  Aren’t facts fun?

Posted by calquake on 07/22/11 at 06:10 PM ET

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Stevie, in the context of playoffs, I just showed to you that his GAA is better then Roy’s and Belfour’s.

I also tried to explain to you why, in terms of save %, number of goals scored dont matter, but lets give you a better try:
Save% is relative to shots against and goals against. GA beeing down, are not proof that Save% should go up, since there is another variable on the equation. If you check for yourself, you’ll see that as GA went down, shots against also went down on the same proportion. That explain why save% is comparable between the “eras”

Are we good so far?  Do you agree until here? If not, please, explain why not.


Ok, so, given those 2, I told you that number of goals scored is irrelevant, since Ozzie had a lower GAA and save% doest matter on this point.

Now, pls, explain to me where, wheres the logic flaw here?  Because I cant say I can see it…  It seens so clear to you. Please, enligthen me on the subject.

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/22/11 at 06:25 PM ET

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Stevie, in the context of playoffs, I just showed to you that his GAA is better then Roy’s and Belfour’s.

No, you didn’t. You said playoff scoring was static, irrespective of era, which is false. Until you run the numbers and adjust for that, you’ve shown nothing.


Save% is relative to shots against and goals against. GA beeing down, are not proof that Save% should go up, since there is another variable on the equation. If you check for yourself, you’ll see that as GA went down, shots against also went down on the same proportion. That explain why save% is comparable between the “eras”

Are we good so far?  Do you agree until here? If not, please, explain why not.

No. You’re offering a rationale for a phenomena that is contradicted by actual data. Doesn’t matter what bogus rationalizing you do for why save percentage would be constant throughout eras.

It isn’t. We have the numbers.


Now, pls, explain to me where, wheres the logic flaw here?  Because I cant say I can see it…  It seens so clear to you. Please, enligthen me on the subject.

The problem is that you seem to be unable to comprehend that a particular statistical value from 1989 and the same value from 2002 don’t mean the same thing. Jarome Iginla won an art ross with 1 less point than Gerard Gallant posted in 89. 89 Gallant wasn’t good enough (adjusted for the performance of his peers) to carry 02 Iggy’s bags (adjusted for the performance of his peers).

Posted by steviesteve on 07/23/11 at 05:55 AM ET

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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

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