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Abel to Yzerman

Dig This: Believe Nothing

Leave it to our Diggers to bone this one up.  Big time.  You’ll see this phrase a few times today and the next few days…“no tougher job in sports than playing quarterback or goalie in Detroit.”  I personally believe that’s crap, and we’ll get to that in a bit.  But since that myth’s out there, it makes even less sense that Helene St. James wouldn’t be particularly careful in how she worded her original story.

Helene The Insider, at 3:16pm yesterday

The Red Wings have scheduled a conference call for Tuesday to announce that goaltender Chris Osgood will be back for another season.


That little sentence, and the way St. James elected to prove herself—again—as the ultimate cultivator of sources, relationships and BFFs within the organ-I-zation, set off a chain reaction that didn’t have to occur.  You know what she did, she assumed—like I did—that if Osgood was going to retire today, it wouldn’t be done staring at a phone.  And, really, he deserves much more than that.  But the golf trip forced the informality of this.  So Helene assumed, yes..go ahead, that considering the Wing Way when it comes to retirements, Osgood would call it quits with his his teammates, Mike, Marian, Jimmy D, Tick Tock and about 200 sobbing down river puck bunnies in attendance.

Instead of writing what she thought, and she definitely could have had she opted for a blog-like entry rather than a news story, she boned it.  She guessed wrong and next thing you know people are getting rousted from their July slumbers, agents are getting spun up, and the other Diggers are doing what they can to prove that Helene spoke a bit too fast.  Naturally, because all the Diggers are comfy and friendly in Detroit, they took it easy on the Free Press.  If this were a city where competition actually existed between news outlets, Kulfan would have pointed out that the Free Press’ initial reports were wrong.  Competition breeds competence, Ansar.  It does. 

And don’t think for a second it was the other Diggers who read Helene’s mid-afternoon concrete statement that Osgood would be returning, then got down to the business of serious news gathering. No.  That was Tick Tock Kenny Holland, or maybe John Hahn, seeing the St. James Bone Job, then dialing up the others and saying, “I’m now a source close to the organization and St. James guessed wrong.”

Now we have much firmer word, but still some mystery, that Chris Osgood will be retiring today.

St. James, herself, writes it with gritted teeth.

The Red Wings have scheduled a conference call today to announce goaltender Chris Osgood will retire and instead take a job within the organization.

The Free Press earlier reported Osgood would return to play, but has learned otherwise.

Pleiness (good…but dammit, Bruce.  The Anti-Digger would have been all over this one from the git-go) and Kulfan both reached out to Osgood’s agent, Rollie Thompson.  And this is where you can inject just a bit of wonder, still.  Thompson says he knows nothing, has heard nothing and believes that if his client still feels he can do it, then maybe he should. 

Detroit News

“I came back from my cottage, turned on the computer, and saw there was a news conference for (today),” Thompson said. “It’s all news to me.”

Thompson said he texted Osgood Monday evening and was told Osgood was “meeting with Kenny.”

Thompson said he has spoken to Holland in recent weeks, but has yet to discuss any sort of contract issues regarding Osgood.

Macomb Daily News

Thompson said he talked to Osgood at length, “a good hour,” on Saturday after he met with Holland.

“If he’s still enjoying it and physically able to continue I’d tell him to go for it,” Thompson said. “Sometimes it’s better to go out Gordie Howe style, on a high, rather than coming back and being raked over the coals if things don’t work out.”

He knows nothing, has heard nothing, hasn’t spoken to Holland, got no word from his client and is completely surprised.  Effective resume bullets, Rollie.

And Gordie Howe style, on a high?  What the hell does that mean?  Does he think Mr. Hockey hung them up at age 35? Jesus.

Raked over the coals by who(m), Rollie?  By the Detroit media?  Seriously?  Despite the “toughest job in Detroit” storylines that we like to toss out there, that’s a load of crap.  Can you really say that Chris Osgood, or Dominik Hasek or even that drama queen Manny Legace ever had it as bad as Joey Harrington or Rodney Peete or fat Scott Mitchell, even?  No chance.  Mike Ilitch’s influence over the media moguls in Detroit doesn’t allow for significant criticism of this team.  The Fords are targets, rightfully so.  The Lions are such a joke that blasting them is a job requirement.  The Wings are untouchable due to their success. 

It should be easy, based on the “sources” referenced by Kulfan and Pleiness, to say that Chris Osgood’s retiring today.  Then we can all start the retrospectives and get down to the business of pushing for a Hall entry, which he deserves.  It’s not easy, though, because it’s still weird that a historic—and yes it is—announcement would occur over speakerphone rather than at the Joe.  I know. Everyone’s on vacation. Got it.  But if there’s one weird thing about all this, one thing that keeps a shred of mystery to it.  It’s that.  It’s not the way Mike Ilitch does business. 

We’ll see.  Odds are that the big Conk’s been waiting in the Wings, that Tick Tock and he had a verbal about two weeks ago and Holland was simply waiting for The Conversation.  Good on them for keeping it quiet.  They should have counted on Helene throwing a wrench in things though.  It should have been assumed by them and by us.

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MsRedWinger's avatar

Everything Tick-Tock has said about Ozzie since the playoffs began led me to believe that Ozzie was done.  Kudos to him for letting Ozzie enjoy the golf trip and then going out to meet with him face-to-face before the announcement. 

Frankly, when I saw Helene’s report yesterday, it just didn’t feel right.  A press conference to announce that Ozzie was to be re-signed for a year?  No way.  They didn’t do that for Nick Lidstrom!  But a retirement announcement, why not by phone?  Ozzie lives on the other side of the continent.  Why fly all the way here to say he’s done?  And maybe he doesn’t want to face all the reporters right away.  This can’t be an easy time for him.

I am surprised that Helene went with what must have been a guess, or a cruel joke by one of her sources.  Very strange indeed.

Just want to say thanks to Ozzie - on many levels.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 07/19/11 at 12:47 PM ET


Osgood never liked being the center of attention.  I am not surprised by this.
St James—I guess someone always wants to be the hero.  Now she has to eat crow.

Posted by Jeff from CO. on 07/19/11 at 12:50 PM ET


Posted by MsRedWinger from Florida, wishin’ I was back in the Mitten on 07/19/11 at 10:47 AM ET

Every single thing you just said.

Posted by Garth on 07/19/11 at 01:19 PM ET

chloefpuff's avatar

Thompson not knowing anything seals it.  Retirement it is.  Let the Hall of Fame push begin!

Posted by chloefpuff on 07/19/11 at 01:45 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Can you really say that Chris Osgood, or Dominik Hasek or even that drama queen Manny Legace ever played as bad as Joey Harrington or Rodney Peete or fat Scott Mitchell, even?


Yet again.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 07/20/11 at 07:46 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com